EU assists Albania to improve the reliability of electricity supply and reduce losses

EU assists Albania to improve the reliability of electricity supply and reduce losses

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Over the last 15 months, the project team, working in close cooperation with the beneficiaries, undertook the study work and prepared system analyses and detailed technical assessment of the project, financial and economic assessments, financing and procurement plans, project implementation plan, and environmental and social impact assessment of the project.

In order to share and discuss the findings and outcomes of the Feasibility Study and ESIA of this project with key stakeholders, a workshop was held on May26, 2014 in Tirana. The workshop was attended by thirty five high level officials from major Albania’s energy sector stakeholders (Transmission System Operator, KfW, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Energy Regulatory Entity, Power Corporation, Ministry of European Integration and WBIF-IPF 3). Several presentations were made by the consultant’s team of experts who provided relevant information on system study analysis and selection of the optimum variant, the technical assessment of the optimum variant design, financial and economic assessments, sensitivity analyses and environmental and social impact assessment for the project.

The project assessed the feasibility of constructing a new transmission line (200 kV or 400 kV) extending from Elbasan to Fier, as well as construction of a new substation in the Kucova area. Based on these studies the optimum configuration of the project is a 400 kV single circuit line directly between Elbasan and Fier without substation in the Kucova area. A feasible 74 km long, 500 meter wide corridor has been identified between substation of Elbasan 2 and Fier. The project also includes equipping of spare bay in substation Elbasan 2 and extension and upgrade of substation Fier to 400 kV. The investment cost has been calculated to be approximately 33.1 million EUR. KfW is the lead IFI interested in funding the construction of the transmission line and the substations upgrade.

This important high voltage transmission line entails a very positive impact on the further development and strengthening of the transmission systems in Albania. It will enable the connection of Vlora and Fier cities to the 400 kV network, aiming at decreasing power loads and stabilizing supply for the southern part of Albania. The line and will create the conditions for accommodating the new electricity generation from HPPs in Devoll, Vjosa, Osumi river cascade and other new generation facilities in south of Albania, as well as to evacuate the power from the Vlora/Fier region once gas arrives (TAP project) and electricity generation from gas is achieved via TPP Vlora. In addition to improving the performance of the national network significantly, this project facilitates future regional network interconnection with Italy and Macedonia.

The workshop concluded that the project findings are widely shared and recognised and that stakeholders are expected to submit any comments on the draft final reports on or before May 30, 2014 to be addressed accordingly in the final version of the Feasibility Study and ESIA which will be submitted in beginning of June 2014.

The technical assistance for the study work was made available by the European Union through a grant valued at €850,000 and the study was carried out in the period January 2013 through May 2014.

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