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Bechtel to Begin Work on Skavica Hydropower Project in Albania

A major step towards bolstering Albania's energy independence is set to take place as Bechtel, a global leader in engineering and construction, prepares to commence work on the Skavica Hydropower Project. This project, expected to play a pivotal role in achieving Albania's energy self-sufficiency goals, is a joint endeavor between the Albanian Government and Bechtel. The project development aims to enhance the country's energy security and decrease reliance on energy imports.

The Skavica Hydropower Project, with a planned capacity of 210 MW, is poised to become a cornerstone of Albania's energy strategy. The agreement to begin the initial works for the Skavica plant was recently signed by Albania's Power Corporation (KESH) and Bechtel, marking a significant milestone in the project's journey.

The project, now in its second year of implementation, has successfully completed crucial preliminary stages, including geological studies, feasibility assessments, and environmental impact evaluations.

Andrew Patterson, Bechtel's Infrastructure Global M&BD and Major Project Development Manager, expressed the company's enthusiasm for partnering on the Skavica Dam. He emphasized the project's significance and its potential to yield immediate and long-term economic benefits for the nation. Patterson noted, "Skavica will be located upstream of the Drin cascade, which is home to four hydro power plants. The combination of these existing projects currently produces the largest energy production in the Balkans, with a combined power output of 1,350MW. Skavica will increase the cascade’s output and bring significant additional safety and environmental benefits."

Belinda Balluku, Albania's Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, highlighted the distinctive role of the Skavica project in enhancing Albania's energy landscape. She explained that the project would regulate existing hydropower plants, boost domestic electricity production by 20%, and minimize floods in the region of Nen Shkodra by optimizing the cascade and managing flow and discharges during rainy seasons.

Ergys Verdho, KESH CEO General, emphasized the transformative impact of the Skavica project on Albania's energy sector and overall economic trajectory. Verdho remarked, "This project will transform Albania not only into an absolute leader in the regional electrical power sector but also into an electrical power exporter."

The project's investment is estimated at approximately EUR 250 million, and it is expected to contribute significantly to Albania's energy production and security. With the project scheduled for completion, Albania aims to enhance its energy self-sufficiency while creating a platform for exporting renewable energy to neighboring regions.

As Bechtel takes the lead on the Skavica Hydropower Project in Albania, this significant venture is poised to strengthen the nation's energy landscape, enhance energy security, and contribute to Albania's emergence as a significant player in the renewable energy sector. The commencement of work on the Skavica project stands as a testament to the collaboration between international partners and the commitment to a sustainable energy future.