TIRANA, Albania 12/5/11 (PennWell) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a 3 million euro (US$3.9 million) loan to finance construction of the 5.1-MW Cerruje 1 and 2 hydroelectric projects on Albania's Benji River.
EBRD made the loan to an Albanian private developer, Energy Partners, under the bank's Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Direct Financing Facility.
Energy Partners is to build the two hydro plants 140 kilometers northeast of Tirana. They are to generate up to 14.7 gigawatt-hours annually, helping to offset generation of 9,500 tons of carbon dioxide by other power plants.
Energy Partners plans to develop a total of five hydro plants on the Benji, for which the company received a 35-year concession.
"The construction of the Cerruje hydropower plants is one of the few private investments in renewable energy generation in Albania in many years," Fabio Serri, head of EBRD's Albania office, said. "This project will be implemented with the support of latest technologies and will set an excellent example of financially viable investments in renewable energy sector."