The EBRD is supporting private sector investment in generation of renewable energy in Albania with a €3 million loan to Energy Partners, a local privately owned developer, to finance the construction of two small hydropower utilities in north-eastern part of the country.
Albania has a vast hydropower generation potential that remains untapped, and the country relies on electricity imports to manage the growing demand. Restoring the power generation capacity through the rehabilitation of hydropower sector and improving the energy efficiency of the distribution system is one of the country’s priorities.
With the support of the EBRD loan, Energy Partners will build two hydropower plants - Cerruje 1 and Cerruje 2, on the Benji River, 140 kilometres north-east of the Albanian capital Tirana. With a combined generation capacity of 5.1 MW, the utilities will generate up to 14.7 GWh of electricity per year, and help offset over 9,500 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The two facilities are part of Energy Partners’ plan to develop five small hydropower units on Benji river, for which the company has been awarded a 35-year concession. The remaining three small hydropower plants will be built at a later stage.
“The construction of the Cerruje hydropower plants is one of the few private investments in renewable energy generation in Albania in many years. This project will be implemented with the support of latest technologies and will set an excellent example of financially viable investments in renewable energy sector,” said Fabio Serri, Head of EBRD Resident Office in Albania.
“We greatly appreciate the Bank’s contribution to the development of renewable energy projects in Albania and in the region. We are grateful for the support that the EBRD has given to this project and we will continue to demonstrate that we are a serious partner,” said Sokol Meqemeja, owner and Administrator of Energy Partners.
The EBRD financing is extended under the Bank’s Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Direct Financing Facility.
Since the beginning of its operations in Albania, the EBRD has invested over €665 million in various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investments of more than €1.3 billion.