Italian developer Italgest unveils project across the water near Durazzo

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Italian company Italgest has unveiled plans for a EUR 180 million, 150 MW wind farm in Albania, a country just across the Adriatic plagued by energy shortages and power cuts. Located south of Durazzo, the development will comprise 72, 2 MW machines. Project documents should be ready by March, with final approval expected by the end of June, says Italgest's Paride De Masi. If all goes to plan, he expects the wind farm to start generating electricity in 2009, with Italgest targeting a EUR 25 million turnover in electricity sales in the first year. The project was unveiled at December's Apulia Days in Tirana seminar, a co-operation between Italy's Apulia region and Albania. The idea behind the co-operation is to build wind plant in Albania and then export any surplus power not used in the country to others areas, starting with Apulia. Meanwhile, as part of the Interreg Transborder Adriatic initiative -- a European Commission program which aims to stimulate interregional co-operation in Europe -- Albanian state energy company KESH has received EUR 300,000 for its clean energy program for production of electricity from renewables. The program is a joint venture with another Italian company, Padua-based Veneto Distribuzione. Initial studies have indicated several areas of the country that hold good potential for wind power development, including Milot, Bulqiza, Lezha, Librazhd, and the coast.

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