TIRANA, May 3
The Administrative Court issued a verdict on the suspension of work at Pocem Hydro Power Plant (HPP) in Vjosa River. Moreover, the court decided that the administrative acts and the concessionary agreement signed between the Albanian government and Kovlu Energy are invaluable.
The suit was filed by 38 inhabitants of Kuta Village in Mallakastra area and supported by three environmental organizations. According to the claimant side, the procedure followed on issuing the concessionary contract including the public consulting part infringed the Albanian low and the European Union legislation on environment protection.
Albanian authorities from the Ministry of Energy announced in May 2016 the decision for granting a 35-year-concession on the construction of an HPP in Pocem to a Turkish company. According to the project, the HPP would have an install capacity of 99.5 MW. It was supposed to be the second major concession following the HPP project in Devoll cascade.
The inhabitants of the area organized several protests and decided to fill a suit. They received support from senior authorities from the European Union.
Euro parliamentarian Ulrike Lunacek, one of the biggest opponents of HPPs construction in Vjosa River called on to stop HHP projects on the river, which is considered the last free-flowing river in Europe. She suggested that the Albanian government can invest in ecotourism in Vjosa area and not in energy projects. Lunacek added that she expressed her opinion to the Albanian Prime Minister, but currently, all attention is focused on the upcoming elections.
Last week a group of scientists gathered in Vjosa River to unveil their findings on the river ecosystem and biodiversity.
News Source: monitor