Devoll Hydropower Project – Hydropower in Albania

The Devoll Hydropower Project (Devoll HPP) in Albania consists of a cascade of hydropower plants along the Devoll River with a planned installed capacity of 256 MW. Production is estimated at 729 GWh/year.

  • Ownership: Statkraft 100%
  • Capacity: 256 MW
  • Development phase: Under construction

There is currently a team of 25 on-site employees and consultants involved in managing environment and social affairs for the Devoll Project. The project prepared an Environmental and Social Management Plan in 2013 comprising all environmental and social mitigation measures and providing a general framework for resettlement, livelihood restoration, social development and environmental management as well as monitoring indicators. This plan is implemented through detailed Annual Implementation Plans and a detailed monitoring framework is established.

The main social impacts relate to the loss of agricultural and horticultural land - and the loss of livelihood associated with this impact - and roads. The project carried out a range of initiatives in 2015 to compensate project affected households for these anticipated losses. The overall goal is to mitigate ahead of impacts, pre-empting any economic difficulties that could be faced by the local population at the time of inundation.

The main initiative is the implementation of the Livelihood Support and Development Program. The program provides various agricultural and livelihood inputs and technical assistance to households directly affected by the project. The focus is on providing in-kind support and technical assistance, for example, in the form of veterinarian services, fruit pruning, etc.  As of the end of 2015, 248 agreements out of 291 households entitled for livelihood support (85%) have been settled, and provision of inputs to 201 project affected households (including e.g. olive and fruit trees,livestock and fodder; bee hives, water pumps and items of agricultural machinery) was provided.  All input delivery is linked to the provision of regular technical assistance by DHP agricultural experts.

A total of 15 relocation houses are currently under construction and handover is expected at the beginning of 2016. The houses are built of equal or better standard than impacted houses with thermal insulation, drinking water and electricity.

The main environmental impacts of the Devoll HPP relate to the changes in the hydrology of the Devoll River and the creation of two reservoirs. Water quality will be the focus of the improved urban waste management and sewage treatment for Gramsh town which is located at the end of the Banjë reservoir. Monthly water quality monitoring with more than 200 samples taken from 20 defined spots along the Devoll River is undertaken with 33 parameters on heavy metals, nutrients, and bacteriology. 4700 values were measured in 2015. Each quarter, samples for the analysis of phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and fauna have been taken at six tonine locations along the river.

Family provided with goats for cheese production

 Construction of resettlement homes above Banja reservoir