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Over the edge/ Enel’s plans to export its pollution to Porto Romano, Albania

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Over the edge/ Enel’s plans to export its pollution to Porto Romano, Albania

Publisher: CEE Bankwatch Network

Date: April, 2010

Volume: 36 pages, pdf


The Italian energy giant Enel is planning to construct a coal-fired thermal power plant consisting of two 800 MW units at Porto Romano near the city of Durres in Albania. If constructed this would be the largest investment in the history of the Albanian energy industry. Eighty-five percent of the electricity produced would be exported to Italy. The advantages of the project for Enel are clear: building a new power plant in Albania instead of in Italy means that the company does not have to buy emissions allowances, thus saving between EUR 232.5 and 325.5 million yearly in 2020 (depending on the carbon emission price). Yet it is much less clear what the benefits will be for Albania. The Albanian government, seduced by unproven promises of cost-price electricity from the plant, is in danger of approving the project without having properly assessed its overall costs and benefits as well as the threats to local people and the environment. The project has appeared from nowhere, receiving no mention in the Albanian National Energy Strategy, and contradicts the strategy’s conclusion that coal will not play any significant role in Albania’s energy sector because the country has no significant reserves.