Statkraft has announced it is to begin construction work on the Devoll hydropower project in Albania in October, with work initially focusing on the project’s Banje and Moglicë plants.

The Devoll project consists of three hydropower plants in the valley of Devoll, with an installed capacity of 278MW. On average the power plants will produce about 800 GWh annually, increasing the Albanian electricity production by almost 20%. The investment decision for the third plant will be considered when the first two plants are completed, Statkraft said in a statement. The Banje and Moglicë plants which will have a combined capacity of 243MW and are expected to cost EUR535M.

The power plants are to be located on the Devoll river, about 70km southeast of the capital Tirana. They will utilise a head of 555m in the Devoll river, between 650 and 95m above sea level. The investment frame for the two first plants is estimated to EUR535M. The tendering process for the main contracts is in its final stage and main construction works are planned to start in October. The plants are expected to be completed in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

The project is to be developed by Devoll Hydropower Sh.A, which is now 100% owned by Statkraft. Earlier this year, the company acquired complete ownership when it bought Austrian energy company EVN’s 50% stake in the firm.