Gov't under investigation for Vjosa HPP project

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2020 12:20

Gov't under investigation for Vjosa HPP project

TIRANA, Sep. 17 - The Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna has opened a dispute settlement procedure against Albania regarding the HPP Poçem project on the Vjosa river, after finding violations of EU regulations in the the tender process.

In its official announcement on Monday, the Secretariat stated that it "preliminarily found that the administrative procedures conducted for the project were not in line with the provisions of Directive 2011/92/EU, with particular regard to the Directive’s requirements on the content of the environmental report and its public participation provisions."

The Secretariat has given Albania two months to respond to the allegations that it has violated the Energy Community Law, as well as enable the Secretariat to establish the full background of the case.

In July 2015, the Albanian government offered a 35-year unsolicited concession to a joint Turkish company, awarding it 8 bonus points in the tender process that took place later.

The Poçemi hydropower plant is part of a technical program that aimed to use the Vjosa River cascade to generate electricity in Albania.

The Vjosa Cascade allowed the construction of nine hydropower plants 350 meters above sea level where the Vjosa enters the territory of Albania up to 9 meters above sea level near Selenica in the Vlora region.

The non-governmental grouping of several environmental organizations in Albania "Let's protect the rivers" demanded the approval of a 3-year Moratorium on the development and implementation of hydropower projects throughout the country.

The group noted that “during the years 2002-2016, 183 concession agreements were signed by the Albanian governments for the construction of 524 hydropower plants.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2020 12:20