THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBANIA has signed an agreement with Italian company Essegei to upgrade 25 small hydro power stations. The agreement requires Essegei to invest US$36.8M between 2002-6 to rehabilitate the plants which currently contribute very little to the country’s annual energy requirements.

Essegei will run the plants for 30 years and will sell the generated power at local market prices. At present, Albania generates about 11GWh a day from hydro power sources and 300MWh from the country’s only thermal station. It imports some 5GWh a day.