IENE’s Workshop on Developing Albania’s Hydroelectric Potential Attracted Interest by Both Government and Investors

IENE’s Workshop on Developing Albania’s Hydroelectric Potential Attracted Interest by Both Government and InvestorsΑ special IENE event on Albania’s hydroelectric sector, organized in cooperation with Albanian counterparts and under the auspices of the Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry and of the Greek Embassy in Tirana, took place in the Albanian capital on June 3, 2016. This one-day workshop focused on the utilization of Albania’s hydroelectric potential and examined the further expansion of the country’s significant hydropower sector

Α special IENE event on Albania’s hydroelectric sector, organized in cooperation with Albanian counterparts and under the auspices of the Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry and of the Greek Embassy in Tirana, took place in the Albanian capital on June 3, 2016. This one-day workshop focused on the utilization of Albania’s hydroelectric potential and examined the further expansion of the country’s significant hydropower sector.

Albanian, Greek and international experts and companies participated in this event which was largely sponsored by Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) and supported by a host of local companies which provided important organizational and financial support.

The proceedings of the seminar commenced with an introduction by Mr. John Chadjivassiliadis, Chairman of IENE, who was the co-ordinator of the opening session. Mr. Gezim Musabelliu, Albania’s Deputy Minister of Energy and. Industry, delivered the event’s keynote speech, followed by H.E. the Ambassador of Greece to Albania, Mr. Leonidas Rokanas.

Mr. Manolis Panagiotakis, Chairman of Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC), in his keynote address, stressed the company’s vision for an investments lead strategy in the broader SE Europe electricity sector including Albania’s hydropower sector. A corporate presentation of PPC by Mrs.Aleksandra Konida, Director of the company’s Treasury & Investor Relation Department highlighted PPC’s current project workload and the financing for its projects.

The 2nd session was chaired by Mr. Abaz Aliko, Commissioner of the Albanian Regulatory Authority (ERE), who contributed opening remarks concerning the mission and activities of ERE. The next speaker, IENE’s Executive Director Mr. Costis Stambolis, provided an overview of the Institute’s activities and presented a background paper on developing Albania’s hydroelectricity potential which was prepared by IENE especially for this workshop (copy of the paper is to be shortly uploaded on this site).

A series of presentations followed by Mr Agim Bregasi,Director of Electro-Energy Policies at the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Albania, Mr. Ilir Belba, Head of Generation Division of KESH, Mr. Përparim Kalo, Managing Partner of Albania’s Kalo & Associates Law Firm, and Mr. Ioannis Argyrakis,Director of Hydroelectric Generation Department and Mrs. Anna Siganou-Kamileri, Director of Unit of New Business Development and Subsidiariesat Greece’s PPC, respectively, as well as by the Manager Director of PPC Renewables, Mr. Fotis Vrotsis. Latest developments in energy regulation as well as the optimal use of energy, water management, rational operation of hydropower plants, the electricity supply and demand situation, the lack of sufficient grid connections and the country’s long-term commitment to achieve greater diversification in power generation, were some of the important issues discussed during this session.

The investment prospects in Albania’s hydroelectricity sector and electricity infrastructure was the subject of the final session of the workshop. Mr. Nicholas Sofianos, Research Coordinator of IENE, was the chairman of the session. Mr. Lorenz Kosta, Project Manager of OST, Albania’s Electricity Transmission Operator, Mr. Ioannis Lefas, Chief Technical Officer of Infrastructure Projects Department in the Greece’s Aktor SA, Mrs. Yioula Tsiknakou, Hydroelectric Projects Director of Greece’s Terna SA, Mr. Elton Sevrani, Director of Energy Trading Department of Albania’s OSHEE, Dr. Lorenc Gordani, Director of Legal Office at the Albanian Renewable Energy Association (AREA), Mrs. Alexandra Psyrri, Assistant Director at the Energy Management Dpt. and Mr. Sofoklis Maronikolakis, Assistant Director ofHydroelectric Generation Department of PPC, respectively, were the speakers of this session. The speakers reviewed latest research and market developments in Albania’s electricity and hydroelectricity sector. Key energy policy issues, including administrative, financial and non-technical obstacles which hinder investment were examined as well as a number of completed and planned hydroelectricity projects.

IENE’s workshop on "Developing Albania’s Hydroelectric Potential” concluded with a Working Group meeting with the participation of PPC, KESH, OST, ERE, OSHEE, and several energy experts, moderated by the Managing Partner of Kalo & Associates Law Firm, Mr. Përparim Kalo. The Working Group examined various aspects, related to investments, licensing and engineering priorities necessary for formulating a viable strategy for the sustainable development of the hydroelectric sector.

Overall, the workshop examined the role of Albania’s hydroelectric potential in terms of electricity exports to the surrounding countries thus contributing to the improvement of energy security in the West Balkan region and SE Europe in general. The need to attract and accelerate investment for the construction of both small and large hydropower plants in Albania but also to maintain and upgrade the existing infrastructure was highlighted in this highly topical IENE workshop.

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