French renewables company Voltalia has won a tender for the construction and operation of a 140 MW solar power plant in Albania’s Karavasta coastal area supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank said.
Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama and minister of infrastructure and energy Belinda Balluku announced the winning bid in a televised event on Wednesday, after the tender went ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD said in a statement.
“It follows three years of extensive preparation for entry into the solar market from the EBRD, including technical assistance and policy dialogue to help develop solar power,” the bank noted.
Under the contract, Voltalia will sell half the electricity produced at the solar park to Albania’s state energy distribution company for 24.89 euro per MW/hour, less than half the price ceiling of 55 euro, which confirms the value of preparing a tender in line with international best practice, the EBRD said. The remaining half will be sold in the market.
The project will help diversify the energy sources of Albania which relies almost entirely on hydro power, increase the country’s resilience to climate change, and bring in much needed foreign investment, EBRD head of office in Albania, Matteo Colangeli, said in the statement.
Albania’s energy ministry opened a tender for the construction of the solar park near the southwestern city of Fier in January. The project is expected to have a total cost of around 100 million euro ($110 million), Belinda Balluku said back then. More than 20 international companies have submitted bids, she added.