Officine Maccaferri


Koman Dam Gains a Clean Flow


Debris discharged from a nearby stream had to be continually cleared. The best solution came in the form of a Gabion weir barrier.

Maccaferri’s gabions were selected to protect the artificial lake Koman and its important hydropower station from debris flows. As part of the design a gabion weir barrier and a longitudinal protection is constructed near the hydro power plant.

The Koman Power Station is a hydroelectric dam on the Drin River. Constructed between 1979 and 1988, the 130 m tall structure is near the village of Koman, in northern Albania. The Koman is a rock filled dam, consisting of earth filled materials. This is the second of three dams on the Drin River, with another upstream and one downstream. Together the three dams give life to the Drin River, which is an artificial body of water.

Dense forested hills, vertical slopes and a narrow valley surround the area. The winter season is particularly dangerous, as the torrent flows through the mountains and discharges into the Drin River.

The long winters of nearby Puka produce lots of snow and ice. Once this starts to thaw, the flow strengthens towards the dam.

Gabion weirs were specifically designed to prevent debris flow rush into the artificial lake. Our gabions combine long-term performance and low environmental impact on the surrounding environment. Indeed, the characteristics of the gabion wire coating enhance the performance of the structure against abrasive wear and chemical attacks. Furthermore, gabion structures are flexible and permeable allowing nature development and water filtration, thus not causing hysrostatic pressure.

Overseeing this project was KESH, the Albanian Power Company, who monitors all rehabilitation of the main dams in the country. KESH manages the power stations on the Drin River. They were a part of the implementation of the Gabion weir, measuring 11m in height, 80m long and a 250m longitudinal protection. The weir was constructed by Alb-Building shpk, who rebuilds Albania’s existing infrastructure across all types.

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