EVN AG and Statkraft AS announced Joint Venture Partnership for the concession to construct three Hydro Power Plants on Devoll river in Albania

(PresseBox) (Tirana, ) EVN AG, an Austrian based leading energy and environmental services company, with significant investments in Eastern and South-eastern Europe, and Statkraft AS, a Norwegian based European leader in renewable energy, today announced a Joint Venture in regard of the Devoll river concession in Albania.

Both companies will hold 50% in the joint venture company and will build on their experience in the region as well as use their combined knowledge in the planning, construction and operation of this challenging hydropower project.

Through signing the concession agreement with the Albanian government in Tirana, EVN AG and Statkraft AS were awarded the right to develop a hydropower project (HPP) on the Devoll river in Albania. The joint venture company will plan and construct three peak-load hydropower storage plants with a total capacity of approximately 340 MW and an average production of approximately 1,000 GWh. The overall investment will amount up to EUR 950m and the plans should be realized in a time frame of roughly eight years.

Burkhard Hofer, CEO of EVN AG, comments on the joint venture agreement:
"A strong production capacity from its own facilities will be a milestone to a secure and reliable energy supply in Albania. We highly appreciate the possibility to realise this outstanding hydro power project with our excellent partner Statkraft, whose specific experience in regard of hydropower plants gives us great confidence that we can successfully realise the challenging plan in Albania".

Ragnvald Naero, Executive Vice President of Statkraft AS comments:
"This signing ceremony marks an important milestone in the Devoll Hydropower Project. A concession agreement has been concluded on a project that can increase the hydro power production in Albania by 20%, create jobs, stimulate economic development and deliver pure energy to Albania. Statkraft is proud to be a part of this project. We have a great partner in EVN and believe in the continuing successful cooperation with the Albanian government."

The planning of the current Devoll project started more than two years ago. Following the application of EVN for an unsolicited proposal, the Albanian government launched an international tender procedure. EVN was selected the winning bidder in January 2008. The concession agreement has now been successfully concluded. The direct foreign investment in the project will boost the Albanian economy, create new jobs and increase the security of energy supply. The Devoll river HPP project is currently one of the largest hydropower projects in Europe.

The agreement was signed in Tirana today by the Prime Minister Sali Berisha, the Minister of Energy and Economy Genc Ruli, EVN AG and Statkraft AS.

Statkraft is Europe's largest generator of renewable energy. The Group develops and generates hydropower, wind power, gas power and district heating, and is a major player on the European energy exchanges. Statkraft also develops solar power, marine energy, osmotic power and other innovative energy solutions. In 2007, Statkraft posted gross operating revenues of EUR 2.2bn. The Group employs close to 3,000 employees in more than 20 countries.

EVN AG

EVN is a listed Austrian energy and environmental services company. EVN offers electricity, gas, heat, water, waste incineration and related services from a single supplier in 18 countries. EVN has succeeded in establishing a positioning in the energy industry in Bulgaria and Macedonia, supplying 2.3 million customers. In the financial year 2007/08, EVN Group has a total of 9,342 employees and Group revenue of EUR 2.4bn.

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