The Confederation of Albanian Industries demands the banning of dam plans on the Vjosa River

Opposition to the hydropower plants projected on the Vjosë River is gaining further support. In an open letter to the Minister of Energy and Industry, the Confederation of Albanian Industries calls for a moratorium on the construction of dams on the Vjos River and its tributaries.

Vjosa receives support from the Confederation of Albanian Industries. (c) G. Kunz

The rivers of the Balkans are threatened by a tsunami of hydropower plants, including the Vjosa. About 40 hydropower plants are planned on the last wild river in Europe. Recently, the Albanian “Konfindustria” – the institution that represents the interests of the country’s 280 large industrial firms – has called for an end to all procedures for approved and planned concessions. She bases her request on the reasoning that all previous studies on the economic performance of hydropower plants are outdated and incomplete and thus do not provide reliable recommendations. Instead, alternative energy concepts such as the use of solar panels should be included.

Moreover, the head of the Confederation of Albanian Industries, Gjergj Buxhuku, in his letter requests that environmental impact assessments be made according to EU standards. The preservation of Vjosa and its branches in their natural state is of great interest for the process of Albania’s integration into the EU, says Buxhuku. “Projects that would destroy these freshwater pearls forever should not be tolerated,” he continues.

“It is remarkable that the national industry is clearly positioning itself against HPPs in Vjosa. This is a sign of a growing opposition to the plans for dams in Vjosa,” says Theresa Schiller, campaign coordinator at Euronatur. “Gjergj Buxhuku’s request on behalf of the Confederation of Albanian Industry is another important voice in the fight for the freedom of the Vjosa river!”




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