Construction works for the thermo power plant will be done through a single Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract (EPC contract). The EPC contract is expected to be completed in 24 months. The project implementation will be managed by KESH through its Project Implementation Unit (PIU).
The project would help to reduce reliance on hydro generated power in Albania and to ensure continuous provision of electricity, having a potential positive impact on the operations of private and public enterprises in the country. In addition, the project would enable the creation of a TSO, execution of the UCTE Agreement, and creation of an Equalizing Fund (to build fund reserves in good hydrological years).
After evaluation of seven potential sites including sites near Durrës, Elbasan, Korçë, Fier, Shëngjin and two sites near Vlorë – Vlorë A and B – the site in Vlorë B was selected as the best site for the new power plant. The selected site is a six hectare green field site adjacent to the offshore oil tanker terminal located on the Adriatic coast north of the Port of Vlorë. The site is situated on a relatively barren coastal area with little vegetation or wildlife. The site is about two kilometres south of Narta Lagoon. The lagoon and the surrounding ecosystem of approximately 10,000 hectares is composed of forests, wetlands, sand dunes, beaches and agricultural land, and is home to a number of endangered species. Parliament is expected to designate the Narta Lagoon as a "Protected Area" soon. The Government has confirmed that the proposed Vlore power plant site will be outside of the boundaries of the Narta Lagoon protected area.
Fugitive dust may be emitted from construction works and machinery as well as from truck traffic. The diesel power construction machinery and vehicles will also have other air quality impacts. The dirt roads and exposed construction areas can be moisturised during the dry season to prevent or minimise the fugitive dust emissions. Emissions from concrete batching plants can be controlled with fabric filters or cyclone separators. Diesel powered construction equipment and vehicles can be well maintained to minimise tailpipe emissions. Air dispersion modelling showed that the likely fugitive dust concentrations would meet World Bank and European Union ambient air quality standards.
Noise from construction activity may be significant. Noise emitting equipment should comply with the applicable EU noise standards and should be properly maintained.
Minor short-tern lowering of the groundwater table during dewatering of foundation excavations is not expected to have a significant impact. Water from dewatering activities and storm water discharges can be managed to minimise water quality impacts to nearby surface water resources such as the Narta Lagoon, Bay of Vlore and the Vlore floodplain. Sediment control measures such as sediment sumps and retention weirs could be used, as necessary, to minimise sediment transport off site. Visible oil or grease can be skimmed off the surface using absorbent pads.
Existing stone and gravel quarrying operations close to the site are assessed to provide sufficient resources for construction requirements without depleting local resources. These sites will need to be regarded and revegetated following use.
Installation of the cooling water intake and discharge outfall pipelines could have impacts on the marine habitat. The work may involve dredging and disposal of excavated material, which could cause sediment release to the surrounding marine environment. Any marine disposal should be done away from sensitive fisheries or breeding grounds and timed to be outside of the upwelling period. Water construction activities associated with the pipelines for the cooling water intake and discharge systems will need to be performed during periods of low fish activity.
Combustion of the distillate oil will result in emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter less than 10 microns, and total suspended particulate. The particulates may contain small amounts of trace metals. However, the generation facility will be designed to meet the more stringent of the EU or World Bank emission and ambient air quality impact standards. Sulphur dioxide emissions will be controlled by limiting the sulphur content of the fuel. Nitrogen oxide emission will be controlled through burner management and water injection to the combustion turbines. Particulate emissions will be reduced through good combustion control to minimise the products of incomplete combustion. The ambient air quality modelling showed that the plant will meet the World Bank and EU standards for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates and sulphur dioxide and that the air quality in Vlore will remain within the “moderate” category.
Significant noise levels can result from operation of the turbines. The transformers in the switchyard can also generate significant noise levels. The combustion turbines would be designed to limit noise to 85 decibels (A), and thereby meet EU and World Bank requirements.
Oil spills could occur during the shipping, unloading and transfer of the fuel to on-site storage. A floating boom should be used to contain spillage during ship unloading and disconnection procedures. Frequent inspection and maintenance of facilities can minimise spilling from the transfer pipeline or the mooring buoy.
Water intake for the once-through cooling system may have a localised impact on the marine ecosystem in the vicinity of the intake. The primary impacts of concern are impingement of marine life on the intake screens and entrainment of marine species in the cooling water system. Design of location, inlet spacing and inlet velocity can be used to minimise the impact on fish communities. An intake bar screen would be used to prevent large fish from being entrained in the system.
Once-through plant cooling water that is discharged to the Bay of Vlore will increase temperatures in the vicinity of the discharge location. Thermal impact modelling showed that the potential increase in water temperature would be less than the World Bank's guideline of three degrees Celsius. If the impacts are found to be greater than predicted after operation begins, modifications to the diffuser will be made to enhance diffusion of the thermal plume.
Chemical discharge in the plant cooling water is expected to be negligible.
The wastewater discharge will be designed to comply with World Bank standards.
The amount of hazardous waste created would be very low and originate from maintenance sources. The waste would consist primarily of spent lubricants, used rags and spent clean-up solvents. There would be no ash residue from the combustion of the distillate fuel oil and no sludge accumulation from fuel storage.
There will be no adverse impacts on the Narta Lagoon from the thermal discharge or wastewater discharge from the plant. The plant meets all air quality standards, including those set to protect vegetation and ecosystems.
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