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Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant in Porto Romano, Albania


The conflict is over an Industrial and Energetic Park at Porto Romano located near Durres – the second largest city in Albania – that includes a thermal power plant, marine facilities and distribution lines connecting the plant with Tirana and Italy. Enel, the main Italian power company, had planned to construct a 1,600MW coal-fired TPP with permission from the Ministry of Environment once the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had been prepared and disclosed and public consultations had been organized.

On January 27, 2009 the EIA was presented and should have been submitted to the public for debate, however the investor and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration refused to publicly release the EIA despite direct requests from Albanian environmental organisations for its disclosure.

Enel was criticized for not disclosing detailed information on the tender process and conditions. The “Ekolevizja” coalition of Albanian environmental groups presented a position paper with preliminary comments on the EIA, demanding: the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy for the whole energy and industrial park in Porto Romano; preparation of an alternative project EIA by independent experts; and the organization of a referendum in the Durres region regarding the thermo power plant.

As it was used for chemical storage in Communist times, Porto Romano has been deemed by the UN's Environment Programme to be one of the five major environmental hotspots in Albania. Porto Romano has also attracted the attention of the World Bank for natural and cultural heritage protection and coastline management reasons.

EDEN is working very intensively in joint collaboration with partners CEE Bankwatch Network (BWN) to provide information and assistance to the Durres Municipality by providing an expert analysis of the present EIA and fundraising for an awareness raising campaign for members of the public regarding the health and environmental impacts as well as the economic benefits of the TPP. An independent quality review of the energy complex EIA commissioned by Ekolevizja highlighted more than 25 shortcomings in the assessment, including the study’s failure to consider alternative energy scenarios to coal power; analyze properly the carbon dioxide emissions; assess the socio-economic impacts of the project and provide for management and monitoring plans. Based on this quality review as well as the opposition from the local communities the Municipality of Durres declared itself officially against the project in April 2009.

In 2014 Enel's website states that the project is in development, and includes an Overhead Power Line connecting the plant to the National Grid at Tirana 2 Power Station. A 210 km long Undersea Power Line will connect the plant to the Italian grid. The project is described as 800 MW in size; the second 800 MW unit is no longer mentioned and is presumably abandoned.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant in Porto Romano, Albania
Location of conflict:Durres
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal

Project Details and Actors

Project details

According to the project's EIA, the station would consist of two 800 MW coal-fired units, a jetty for handling the imported coal, a transmission line connecting the local substation to Tirana's main substation, and an undersea transmission line linking the facility with Italy. Eighty-five percent of the electricity produced would be exported to Italy.

Electricity output per year will be about 13 TWh – twice as much as all the electricity produced in and imported to Albania in 2005, showing the enormous scale of the project.

The TPP would burn coal delivered to the site by boat, using a

new 950 metre long pier adjacent to the site fence. Coal consumption would be about 240 t/h for each unit. For about 8000 hours per year of operating time, the total quantity of coal used every year by the TPP will be about 3,850,000 tonnes (consumption for two units). South African coal has been considered as the reference fuel.

According to the EIA the TPP would produce 44,800 tonnes of bottom ashes and 401,600 tonnes of fly ashes annually. According to the EIA the Suspended Particulate Matter emission rates from wind erosion of the piles in the two stock areas would be 0.281 kg/h for coal and 0.0398 kg/h for limestone.

The CO2 emissions from the TPP would be 1,166 tonnes per hour, that for 8,000 hours of operation annually amounts to 9 328 000 tonnes/year. The current CO2 emissions of Albania are 5.5 million tonnes 11 without LUCF 12, so the emissions from the power plant would bring Albania to almost 15 million tonnes. This means that the GHG emissions of Albania would be increased 2.5 times compared to current emissions, and this as a result of only one TPP.

Project area: 80
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2008
Company names or state enterprises:ENEL Group (Enel) from Italy
Relevant government actors:Albanian Government, Albanian Council for Territorial Adjustment , Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration of Albania
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Ekolevizja, a coalition of Albanian environmental NGOs, CEE Bankwatch Network
the Municipality of Durres

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The EIA study addresses a minimum of alternatives. Typical categories of alternatives that should have been included are:
1. Site location alternatives: Three locations are taken into consideration: Porto Romano, Shengjin and Vlore. The locations are all on the Adriatic coast, and it seems that no other locations have been taken into consideration due to higher investment costs for the transmission lines.
2. Design (fuel and technology) alternatives for the site
No other design alternative has been considered in the EIA. There may have been different technologies, or different fuels, but it seems that, due to the fact that coal provides the cheapest solution (if externalities and carbon costs are not to be paid), coal has a head start over other fuels.
3. Construction, operation, and decommissioning alternatives for the design: No alternatives have been considered regarding the decommissioning of the plant.
4. ‘No-project’ or ‘no-action’ alternatives
These alternatives have not been considered in the study.
5. Timing alternatives relative to project construction, operation, and decommissioning
These alternatives have not been considered in the study.
The EBRD on behalf of the Ekolevizija coalition, call upon the bank:
• Not to consider the Porto Romano TPP for finance.
• To prioritize sustainable energy projects, particularly in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, when it comes to review its three-year investment strategy for Albania at the end of this year.
• To encourage the Albanian government to find a solution for the energy security of the country via
sustainable investments such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The Municipality of Durres declared itself officially against the project in April 2009, but the project has not been scrapped yet.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Porto Romano thermo power plant (NGO Issue Paper )

Over the edge / Enel’s plans to export its pollution to Porto Romano, Albania (April 2010)

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Albanian NGOs Seek to Scrap Power Plant (April 2009)

Porto Romano Power Station

WB funded clean-up in Porto Romano,,contentMDK:22965981~menuPK:3949141~pagePK:146736~piPK:226340~theSitePK:258599,00.html

South-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2009, October

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Contributor:Katarina; [email protected]
Last update07/11/2014