18 September 2009 – Andritz Hydro has received contract from Energii Ashta Shpk, a subsidiary of Verbund, to supply the electromechanical equipment for the Ashta power plant in Albania, using former’s Hydromatrix technology.
The order has been valued at ALL100. The power plant is scheduled to start operation in 2012. Andritz Hydro will build the power plant on the River Drin in northern Albania in two stages. Each of the two stages will be equipped with 45 Hydromatrix turbine generator units.
The total installed capacity of the power plant will be over 50 MW.
In Hydromatrix several small turbine generator units are installed in a matrix-type arrangement, where each individual unit can be operated and maintained separately. The resulting minimisation of the required civil structures has significant advantages in terms of space requirements, thus considerably reducing the environmental effects and construction costs of the project.
Concepts for utilising this section of the River Drin for energy generation have been under discussion since the 1990s, but have not been realized so far due to expected non-viability of conventional hydropower technology at this site.
Ashta is the first hydropower project to be implemented by utilising a build-operate-transfer model in order to attract foreign investment. With this concept, the Albanian government wants to counteract the energy shortage in the country.