No, empathy is not required for functional society capable of creating a technological civilization. This is because educated self-interest can do everything empathy does for us.
But, a VERY BIG BUT, a species capable of creating a civilization would almost certainly have empathy. This is because empathy can do the important parts of what educated self-interest does, without education or real understanding of your surroundings.
For a species without empathy to create civilization, it would need to develop high level of intellect and sophisticated culture before developing concepts of family or social interaction. This is not flat-out impossible, a solitary species that has genetic memory and does not need to nurture its young due to exotic reproduction COULD do it. In theory. But it is highly unlikely because such species would have no real need to develop intellect anyway. Much of the evolution of intellect we know is based on handling social interactions or the complex needs of social groups. But what use could a solitary species have for sentience?
Worse, developed intellect requires developed brains which generally means that the newly born need parental care. This might be different for species with genetic memory, as the learning period would be shorter, but parental care and parental empathy would be so much more efficient, and thus more likely to evolve. For that matter while species with genetic memory are common in fiction, there is no real explanation why such would evolve when after a certain point social evolution is simpler and more efficient.
My suggestion would be: If you want a civilized species without empathy, a species that used to have empathy but lost it after creating a civilization is vastly more believable than a species that never had empathy.
Incidentally, while such civilization would almost certainly be distressing to visitors with empathy, where is no need for it to be particularly evil or abusive. Almost everything we generally count as our "better impulses" makes perfect sense from the viewpoint of "optimal strategy" for the individual. That is why we evolved those impulses in the first place.