The Albanian government will build the Skavica hydroelectric power plant with public funds. Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the news on Wednesday during the announcement of the winner of the Karavasta photovoltaic park tender.
Rama called the Skavica hydropower plant an “indispensable object” and a difficult project, and declared that the government would build it “on our own.”
The Skavica hydropower plant is the country’s most strategic energy project and Albania’s most important water reservoir, holding about 7 billion cubic meters, which makes it the largest reservoir in Europe.
HPP Skavica would have generating powers smaller than those of the Fierza and Koman HPPs, but the Skavica reservoir is a significant national resource, being three times larger than the Fierza lake and twice as big as the entire Drin river cascade.
The government has opened several calls for bids for the construction of the Skavica HPP, but failed to finalize a tender contract and has been accused of clientelism and corruption.
Three project ideas existed for the Skavica HPP. The first two foresaw the construction of a single 450 or 350 MW capacity hydropower plant, and a reservoir approximately twice the size of Fierza or as big as Fierza. The first option would require an agreement with North Macedonia, as the planned reservoir would have to go over into North Macedonian territory. A third option would see the construction of two HPPs of a combined capacity below 200 MW and a relatively small reservoir that cannot carry out the Drin river cascade’s regulatory functions.
The government has yet to announce which project plan it will be going with.