Albania's state-owned hydropower operator Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH) is to start implementing a Climate Risk Management Plan developed by Pöyry in January 2019, with the goal of addressing the challenges posed by rising temperatures and increasing hydrological variability.

The adoption of the plan is part of the terms of a €218 million loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to KESH to support the company's restructuring and transformation to a modern electricity generator operating in a gradually liberalised electricity market.

KESH operates a 1350 MW hydropower cascade on the Drin River and is facing challenges due to the impact of climate change and climate variability. The climate risk management plan defines a list of structural and non-structural adaptation measures that will be implemented by KESH to mitigate climate-induced risks but also to seize opportunities arising from climate change.

The plan – approved by KESH's supervisory board last week in Tirana – was developed as part of a comprehensive capacity building programme funded by the Austrian DRIVE fund and implemented by Pöyry together with the Swiss hydropower operator KWO.

With the adoption of the Climate Risk Management Plan, KESH will become one of the first hydropower operators in Europe to address the risks of climate change through a formalised and strategic approach.