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Austria's Verbund wins power plant deal

31. July 2008

The ministry said its decision was based on the cheaper prices of power offered to the Albanian system and market, technical considerations such as installed capacity.

Austrian utility Verbund won a concession to build a 166 million euro hydropower plant in northern Albania, the Albanian government said on THursday. Verbund's offer had been valued at 95.33 points while a rival offer from a joint-venture linking Compagnie Nationale dy Rhone (CNR) and Electrabel, both controlled by French utility company Suez, had attracted 59,21 points.

"The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy declared Verbund the winner of the tender to grant a concession to build the hydropower plant at Ashta", said sources from the ministry. Further they said, that the decision was based on the cheaper prices of power offered to the Albanian system and market, technical considerations such as installed capacity, and the social and technical standards in building the plant.
"We expect the hydropower plant to have an installed capacity of 40-70MW and to be built in 36 months," the ministry statement added.

Albanians have been plagued for decades by lengthy and frequent power cuts that are mostly blamed on drought, the dilapidation of the communist-era grid and a failure to build new hydro and thermal plants.

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