Graz/Vienna, September 17, 2009.
ENERGJI ASHTA Shpk and the international technology Group ANDRITZ have signed an agreement on the electromechanical equipment for the Ashta power plant in Albania, using ANDRITZ’s proven HYDROMATRIX® technology. The order value for ANDRITZ is approx. 100 M EUR. The power plant is scheduled to start operation in 2012.
ANDRITZ HYDRO will build the HYDROMATRIX® power plant on the River Drin in northern Albania in two stages. Each of the two stages will be equipped with 45 HYDROMATRIX® Turbine Generator Units. The total installed capacity of the power plant will be over 50 MW.
The outstanding aspect of the HYDROMATRIX® concept is the innovative utilization of proven waterpower technologies. In this modular system, several small turbine generator units are installed in a matrix-type arrangement, where each individual unit can be operated and maintained separately. The resulting minimisation of the required civil structures has significant advantages in terms of space requirements, thus considerably reducing the environmental effects and construction costs of the project.
Concepts for utilising this section of the River Drin for energy generation have been under discussion since the 1990ies, but have not been realized so far due to expected non-viability of conventional hydropower technology at this site.
Currently, a large percentage of Albania’s energy consumption is covered by expensive electricity imports from neighbouring countries such as Greece. Ashta is the first of several planned hydropower projects to be implemented by utilising a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model in order to attract foreign investment. With this concept, the Albanian government wants to counteract the energy shortage in the country.