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JA slide show
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newVERBUND TO CONSTRUCT ASHTA POWER PLANT UNTIL 2012
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Verbund, Austria‘s leading electricity company and foremost among Europe‘s top electricity utilities,  is constructing a world innovation in Albania:
the largest matrix power plant using small turbines. Until 2012, the project company “Energji Ashta” is building a 48-MW-strong hydropower plant in northern Albania, close to Shkoder, the country’s fourth-largest town. In the process, innovative measures are being taken on the River Drin: Straflo-Matrix technology (a small turbine the size of a telephone box) enables an especially efficient utilization of the white gold. In future, 230 million kWh of electricity will be produced in Ashta. In this way, 100,000 Albanian households can be supplied with electricity.

The new power plant is highly welcomed: Ashta HPP is expected to deliver electricity for more than 100,000 Albanian households, creates new jobs and gives a positive impulse to the region and the country. With energy being a hot topic for Albania, the construction of this HPP supports the supply security of Albanian electricity system, reduces energy imports from abroad and has only moderate interferences with nature.  The projects’ environmental impact is almost negligible especially since HPPs do not produce any emissions. At the end of the 35-years-concession period the HPP will be returned back to the Republic of Albania.

HPP Ashta is divided in two: electricity will first be generated at Ashta I, where the Spathara reservoir with its effluent weir and small irrigation system was erected three decades ago for the agricultural industry. Up to 560 m3 water per second will – and this is where it gets exciting – supply no ordinary turbines, but 45 Straflo-Matrix turbines.

Instead of one large turbine, this innovative technology employs several small ones. As a result, it is possible to utilize even low heads and thereby increase efficiency. The Straflo-Matrix turbines for both Ashta power plants are being delivered by Andritz-Hydro (previously known as VA Tech Hydro), and are thus an Austrian product. An additional benefit is the shortened construction period.

However, one power plant is not enough: electricity will thus be generated for a second time, after a seven-kilometer-long, low lying bypass channel close to the small village of Ashta, part of the commune of Bushat. Again, 45 Straflo-Matrix turbines are being put into use.

The total capacity of the two plants (Ashta I and Ashta II) with 90 Straflo-Matrix turbines amounts to 48.2 megawatts; 230 million kilowatt hours are to be generated annually. This is equivalent to the electricity demand of app. 100.000 Albanian households.

The start of construction for the upper power plant is scheduled end of 2009; Ashta II should go ahead in 2010: more than 160 million Euro will be invested. From 2011 or 2012, the electricity generated will be fed into the Albanian 110 kV grid and should primarily supply the region around Shkoder, the fourth largest town in Albania.

For 15 years, the electricity produced in Ashta will be bought entirely by Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare (KESH), Albania’s state energy supplier. Afterwards, the contract will either be extended or the electrical energy will be sold freely on the market.
 
 
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