- EBRD €36.9 mn loan supplemented by EU and bilateral donors €35.5 mn grant
- Overhaul of railways will offer safer and quicker travel for Albanian citizens
- Boosting regional integration with development of infrastructure and connectivity
The first large-scale overhaul of the railway network in Albania is ready to start with the signing of a first contract for rehabilitation works between the state railways and the Italian company INC Spa.
The project is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with a €36.9 million loan and the European Union (EU) with an investment grant of up to €35.5 million under its “Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans”.
Additional €2.75 million in grants from bilateral donors have been secured through the Western Balkans Investment Framework.
Under the contract more than 34 km of the existing railway track between the capital Tirana and the port of Durres will be rehabilitated. Additionally, a new 5 km-long rail track connecting Tirana city to the Tirana International Airport will be constructed.
The rehabilitation will allow for safer and faster travel compared to the current average of less than 60 km per hour.
The project will also improve connectivity with in the country and regional integration. Durres is the country’s largest port and an important regional hub for international trade.
Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of Albania, said: “This strategic infrastructure project will make a tangible difference to people and businesses in Albania and across the region. It will improve people’s daily lives and unlock new trade opportunities. As the first investment in the rehabilitation of the railways network in Albania, the project will also contribute to the long-term goal of building green, sustainable and integrated economies in the Western Balkans.”
Andrea Vera, Head of the Sustainable Economic and Social Development Section at the EU Delegation in Albania said: “Investing in infrastructure is necessary to improve connectivity within the Western Balkans and with the EU. Albania needs to undertake the necessary reforms to ensure the integration of transport markets.”
To date, the EBRD has invested more than € 1.5 billion in loans in 110 projects in Albania.
The EU support for the transport sector in Albania reaches about € 250 million EUR in grants.