South East Europe - Growing perspectives

All the states in South East Europe have open market economies, most are in the upper-­middle income range.

Croatia, Romania, Greece and Slovenia are regarded as having high-income economies. Recent projections for economic growth in the region have generally been surpassed with a high volume of private investment boosting economic progress. Numerous countries in this region are already in the European Union (EU) or are in Member State accession negotiations. The EU has a strong interest here and is promoting and supporting economic development of the region.


South East Europe – also known as the Balkans – comprises the countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldovia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Collectively, South East Europe still represents a significant proportion of untapped European hydropower potential as its river catchments have remained largely undeveloped. Up to 30% of the region’s rivers remain in near natural or pristine states and have a very high conservation value. The region has an estimated 80,000 GWh of technical potential, which is concentrated in the mountainous regions of Montenegro and Albania as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2016, the European Union commissioned a regional hydropower masterplan for the region, aiming to define how to develop the hydropower potential in a way that balances energy generation, flood protection and ecological concerns. This plan also strengthens regional cooperation between the European Union and especially the Western Balkan countries.

Albania already derives 95% of its domestically produced electricity from hydropower, Bosnia and Herzegovina 31.3%, Serbia 27.5% and Montenegro 31%, respectively.

Serbia has some 3,018 MW of currently operational hydropower plant capacity. Over two-thirds of this capacity is concentrated near to the border with Romania. The country boasts an undeveloped potential of 17,600 GWh, focused on the Drina and Danube rivers. Romania has the highest installed hydropower capacity of all the countries within the region, as well as the biggest economically feasible hydropower potential.

Bocac II, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a hydropower potential of more than 24,000 MW, of which only 2,196 MW has been exploited to date. North Macedonia has a technical annual hydropower production potential of 5,500 GWh. Only about 30% of this is currently being utilized, representing a total installed capacity of 676 MW.

Montenegro has abundant water resources, despite its relatively small size. Two large hydropower plants provide approximately three-quarters of the total domestic power supply, but account for only 18% of total hydropower potential.

Although relatively small, the hydropower market is in an upswing across the whole region. For example, governments are supporting the development of small hydro with feed-in-tariffs and other incentives. Several hundred megawatts of small hydropower potential is waiting to be exploited. 

South East Europe is also a major market for service and rehabilitation. Numerous plants were constructed in the 1960s–1980s. However, since the Balkan war of the 1990s, low energy prices and low levels of investment have curtailed much needed major rehabilitation works on hydro plants. The hydropower fleet is now in urgent need of modernization and uprating to adjust to new requirements and standards. Ongoing market liberalization, as well as binding environmental targets to reduce the use of fossil-­fueled energy sources and develop a low carbon economy, are driving many of the rehabilitation programs throughout the region.


ANDRITZ Hydro has a long history of equipment delivery throughout South East Europe. Beginning as far back as 1909 with the first delivery in Greece. Just a year later, Bulgaria. The more than 220 units and a total capacity of more than 7,400 MW delivered across the region are ample proof of the strong and long-term presence of ANDRITZ Hydro in South East Europe.

An excellent network of local partners has made ANDRITZ Hydro one of the leading equipment suppliers, which has been involved in important projects in the region such as Ashta and Komani in Albania, Tzankov Kamak and Belmeken in Bulgaria, Kastraki and pumped storage plant Thissavros in Greece, Salakovac in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Baijna Basta in Serbia.

Bocac II, Bosnia and Herzegovina

At the end of 2018, ANDRITZ successfully commissioned the Bocac II hydropower plant, located on the Vrbas River. The contract for the supply of the complete electro-mechanical equipment and services included two horizontal EcoBulb turbines, electrical power systems, control system, and automation. To the complete satisfaction of the client, the turbine efficiency is better than that guaranteed under the terms of the contract - further proof of the expertise and exceptional performance of ANDRITZ.

Komani, Albania

Komani, Albania

At 600 MW, Komani is the largest hydropower plant in Albania. ANDRITZ received a contract for full-scale rehabilitation of the plant including turbines, generators, main transformers, and automation, as well as mechanical and electrical auxiliary systems. In February 2019, the last of the four units was put into commercial operation. Today, the plant is again producing about 1,800 GWh of electrical energy per year, some 30% of Albania’s total elec­tricity consumption.


General Facts
Population:64,104 Mio.
Access to electricity:100%
Installed hydro capacity:24,700 MW
Technically feasible hydro generation potential:226,100 GWh
ANDRITZ Hydro in the country
Installed and/or rehabilitated capacity:7,438 MW
Installed and/or rehabilitated units:228

Source Facts: The World Bank, IHA, CIA Factbook, Hydropower & Dams World Atlas 2018

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  • South East Europe

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