The Banja hydropower project located on the Devoll River in southern Albania has been officially inaugurated by the chief executive officer of Statkraft AS, Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama. Mott MacDonald, in joint venture (JV) with Coyne et Bellier of France, acted as owner’s engineer on the scheme on behalf of Statkraft AS of Norway.
Banja, the first hydropower project to be completed in the Devoll cascade, has a clay core rockfill embankment dam measuring 940m long, 370m wide and 80m high. The reservoir will have a surface of 14 sq km, an area comparable to 2000 football fields. With an installed capacity of 73MW from three Francis turbines, Banja will have an annual production rate of 256GWh.
As owner’s engineer, the Mott MacDonald / Coyne et Bellier JV supervised construction of the scheme, provided project, commercial and quality management services and assisted with the delivery of commissioning under a licenced International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract.
David Cullen, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Additional resources are required to meet the increasing demand of electricity consumption in Albania. The inauguration of Banja is a key first step in the overall delivery of the Devoll hydropower project, which once complete will increase electricity production in the country by 17%, all through renewable, clean energy.”
After supplying its first electricity to the grid at the end of August 2016, Banja is expected to be in full commercial operation by the end of October 2016 following testing and commissioning.