Topping-out Ceremony at HPP Ashta

Ashta July 5, 2011. Until 2012, the project company “Energji Ashta”– a 50/50 joint venture

between Austrian VERBUND and EVN is constructing the largest matrix power hydro

power plant worldwide. After only one year of construction works, Ashta 1 powerhouse

is already revealing its full magnitude. This was celebrated today in a ceremony with

Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha.


Although the start of construction at the beginning of 2010 was delayed due to very unfavourable

weather conditions, Energji Ashta and it’s shareholders VERBUND and EVN are very satisfied

with the progress reached so far. While the concreting on the sill level of Ashta 2 has just

been completed and the placing and concreting of the draft tubes is in progress, the Ashta 1

powerhouse is already revealing its full magnitude. The finalisation of the main building of Ashta

1 was achieved in late June this year. Up to now, more than 40.000 cubic meters of concrete and

more than 3.000 tons of steel have been used within almost half a million working hours on site.


Hydro power plant Ashta is erected in Northern Albania, close to Shkoder, the country’s fourth-

largest town. In the process, innovative measures are being taken on the River Drin: Hydro-Matrix

technology (a small turbine the size of a telephone box) enables an especially efficient utilization

of hydro energy. Once commissioned HPP Ashta will be the largest hydro-matrix power plant of

the world.


In future, 240 million kWh of electricity will be produced in Ashta. In this way, 100,000 Albanian

households can be supplied with electricity. More than 200 million Euro will be invested. From

2012, the electricity generated will be fed into the Albanian 110-kV grid.


The project is really favorable to the environment – Energy will be produced without any air

pollution saving around 114,000 tonnes / year CO2. Furthermore, fish will be able to swim from

the Adriatic sea up to the Spathara reservoir via the new fish pass installed at the HPP Ashta

for the first time since the 70ies of the 20th century – this will be the first fish pass installed at a

hydroelectric power station in Albania at all.


The project underlies the Clean development Mechanism (CDM) by the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC wants a highly elaborated

stakeholder dialogue as part of the CDM Management and monitors it closely. HPP Ashta was

introduced to the local and regional stakeholders in public information meetings and these

meetings are repeated on a regular basis.


At the end of the 35-years-concession period the HPP will be returned back to the Republic of