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Filling of the Banja reservoir started

19 Apr, 2016

Devoll Hydropower Project in Albania reached a major milestone on Friday 15. April, as the filling of the Banja reservoir started.

Following the final approval from the National Committee of Large Dam (NCLD), the DHP team in Albania was able to close the bottom outlet and start the filling of the reservoir.

The closing of the bottom outlet marks the start of impounding in the Banja reservoir. During the impounding phase, hydrology and weather conditions play a major role regarding the time it will take to fill the reservoir. Reservoir filling will be achieved by taking the water level from 112 masl to 175 masl. Once the filling has reached an operational level, and power generating units are successfully commissioned, trial run is expected to take place in August. Banja hydropower plant will enter into normal operation as soon as trial runs of units have been successfully completed.

Significant works have been completed prior to filling of Banja reservoir. These include completion of the Banja Dam, as well as construction of spillway, intake, waterway, emergency outlet, bottom outlet and arrangement for sediment removals. Preparations also include constructing new roads and bridges, in addition to building 15 replacement homes for the relocation of project affected households.

" While technical preparedness is going at full speed, Statkraft is also preparing for the sale of energy from the Banja HPP. In this context we are closely monitoring the steps taken by the Albanian Government for liberalizing the energy market towards a much needed Albanian power exchange", says Executive Vice President International hydropower Asbjørn Grundt.

Banja HPP Project overview:

  • Banja Dam is an 80m tall embankment dam which will utilize the live storage volume between 160 and 175 meters above sea level.
  • Banja reservoir will be approximately 16 km long. At the end of the impounding process the Banja reservoir shall contain approximately 178 million m3 live storage of water. The reservoir surface area will be approx. 14 km2, or larger than 2000 football fields.
  • Banja HPP is equipped with two vertical Francis units with a total installed capacity of 66 MW and a horizontal Francis unit of 7 MW capacity for ecological flow. Total installed capacity is 73 MW.
  • The estimated annual energy production is 255 GWh.

In addition to Banja HPP, the Devoll Hydropower project consists of the 185 MW Moglice hydropower plant under construction, expected to be operational by end 2018, 50 km of high voltage transmission lines and over 100 km new and refurbished roads.