The Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Belinda Balluku introduced today the Chairman and the new members of the National Committee of Large Dams and the members of the Permanent Technical Council of Dams. While emphasizing the focus on dam safety, Balluku noted that all the people who have joined these teams have a long experience of up to 45 years in the field and the task of the National Committee is to support the local government to cover this responsibility they have taken on.
Minister Balluku reiterated that Albania is among the 20 countries listed in the world with the largest number of dams. There are 40 dams in Tirana. Balluku said that except for the Drin Cascade dams or the Moglica concession HPPs, all the rest of the dams are managed by the local government, which does not have the required expertise.
“Dams are a great asset that must be returned to efficiency, but I find today that the human resources that the Republic of Albania does have, are the greatest asset we have. “Nothing can be done efficiently without having the right experience and staff who want to contribute”, she said, while emphasizing that these experts selected today are the main guarantee for the progress of this important process.
Balluku stressed that many urban areas near dams tend to turn into tourist areas, as in the case of Koman. “We increase our responsibility and demand to be as scrupulous as possible in scanning the current situation to create a maintenance that must be done linearly all the time.
The Chairman of the Dam Committee, Arjan Jovani, noted that in our country there are a total of 650 dams, of which 362 large dams with a height of over 15 m. The first dam built in Albania is that of Ulza in 1957 and construction continued with culmination until the ’90s. He said that “90% of the dams are in the agricultural sector, but there are also hydropower plants that have continued to be built even after the ’90s.
“Today we have very few new dams 5 or 6. Most of them are over 30-40 years old which require maintenance and monitoring of these dams. The main task of the Dams Committee is to exercise state control over their safety, as the dams are under the administration of local government, private individuals, the Ministry of Agriculture (7 dams) and KESH 5 dams. “The state monitors the use within the rules of these dams,” he said.
“Also, another problem is the demand for the construction of new dams in dangerous geological areas”, he said, listing some of the main challenges.