Inauguration of the Rapuni 3 & 4 Hydro Power Station – A Contribution to the Ongoing Work of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

The Albanian Orthodox Church – August 2016

On August 2, 2016, the inauguration of the Rapuni 3 & 4 Hydro Power Station was held in the area of Elbasan. This hydropower project conducted by the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania is a major beneficial investment in the energy sector of the country. The project was initiated and developed through the special care of His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios. It was built in accordance with the strategy of the Albanian government for the energy sector and in full compliance with the regional development of Elbasani district. The hydro power station was built on Rapuni River downstream and consists of several parts, mainly the water intake, the water decanter, the hydro tunnel, the Powerhouse, the water tower and the substation for connection with the load energy center of the country. During the design and construction of this work, special attention was given to the rigorous enforcement of Albanian laws and regulations as well as to the international instructions provided by ESHA, IEA, the European Commission, the Austrian National Committee on Large Dams and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

The above investment will contribute to further strengthening of the economic independence of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, enabling thus the continuation of its work. The obtained funds will serve to support and ensure the continuity of Church’s social work, and the work of numerous educational institutions and health centers built by the Church in the recent years throughout the country. It will also help the Church to support several programs and activities designed for children and teenagers, as well as to afford caring for people in need. At the same time the above project will also help in providing funds for the restoration and maintenance of churches and monasteries of spiritual, historical and artistic value, but it will also support the building work of new churches and their maintenance. All in all, these funds will generally serve for the continuation of the normal course of Church’s life and its structures. At the same time the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania will be able to provide its contribution in support of the other Orthodox Churches abroad which are having difficulty or are facing different challenges in their mission of spreading the Gospel to the entire world.

Technical Data:

9.9 MW of installed power

Water flow: 27 m3 per second

Annual energy production: 42.94 GWh

The water intake dam (246 m long) on the Rapuni River and 4 gates

The earth dam (10 m high) with a volume of 60 thousand m3.

Dividing walls (1300 m2).

Water intake conduits from the Qarrishte River

Tunnel for water collecting (4.8×4.95 m), with a length of 2.4 kilometers

Water pipes 2×3.5 x2.5, 140 m

The Powerhouse (18,70×48, 50×13.00 meters)

3 turbines of 3.3 MW of max power

3 generators (3.780 KWA-6.3 KV-429 rpm each)

The transformer for mounting tension (6.3 / 115 KV and 12 MVA).

External high voltage substation (110 KV)

The following was made for the conduction of the above construction work:

411 850 thousand m3 soil excavation and filling

61 900 m3 of concrete was thrown

6600 tons of iron armature was used

2250 m2 reinforced concrete walls (1800 m3 concrete)

55 tons of metal building for the Powerhouse

From the intake conduit (which must be emphasized that it is the first object in Albania of this kind for the mountain rivers), water flows to the decanter through the pressure basin and to the penstock to fall directly on the Francis turbines (3 of them are already installed on the premises of the station).

The construction of this facility increases the reliability of electricity supply, improves the efficiency of energy production, helps to solve several social problems related to employment, infrastructure, tourism development of the area, and increases local and national incomes. In addition, the hydropower station reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the annual reduction of which reaches up to 37,029 tons of CO2 per year due to the production of green energy.

The Legal Basis

The above economic activity is based on the agreement with the Council of Ministers and on the status of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania.

a) Under the law 10 057, dated 22.01.2009, “Agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Albanian Orthodox Church for the regulation of mutual relations” Articles 10 and 18, etc., the Orthodox Church is allowed to exercise its own economic activity with the aim to support the spiritual, social, philanthropic and educational work of it.

b) The Statute of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, Article 59 states: “The Holy Synod can create separate companies of limited liability”.

c) The intention of Bioenergy Company, founded by the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, as stated in its statute, is “the study, the construction and the operation of energy projects based on renewable resources or the provision of services in Albania and abroad, with the intention of creating exclusive financial resources for the work of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, based on principles of honesty, transparency and strict enforcement of legislation.”

The Press Office of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania