The World Bank’s has approved €12 million in additional financing for a project that will safeguard hydroelectric dams on the Drin and Mat river cascades in Albania, and improve the operational efficiency of these dams and enhance the stability of the power supply in the regional market.

The Drin Cascade represents an important asset in the country. The three power plants in the Drin River cascade: Fierza, Komani and Vau i Dejes with total installed capacity 1350MW, generate about 70% of total energy supply in Albania which, at recent regional market prices, represents an annual value of about US$200 million. In addition, they play an important role in the connectivity with the regional energy market.

Safe and reliable operation of the hydropower plants on the Drin Cascade is not only a safety concern, but also a potential revenue management source for the Government in the future. The Project aims at improving the safety of dams and their performance and availability, extending their lifetime, and increasing their compliance with environmental safeguards best practices.

The existing project has achieved significant results, so far. All dams on both the Drin and Mat river are equipped with various instruments and monitoring systems; a risk assessment and Emergency Preparedness Plan was completed and adopted by KESH and responsible institutions; and the Dams spillway capacity assessment has been completed.

The additional financing will provide financial support for the completion of rehabilitation of the spillways gates and stoplogs in two dams of the Drin River Cascade (Fierza and Komani), and rehabilitation of electromechanical equipment at Komani.