Delegation of the European Union to Albania

EBRD, EU and partners support key transport links in Albania 35.5 million WBIF grant for vital infrastructure projects like the Tirana-Durres rail line and new link to Tirana International Airport

Tirana, 09/05/2018 - 18:40, UNIQUE ID: 180509_8
Press releases

  • Up to €35.5 million in grants from the EU through Western Balkans Investment Framework to complement EBRD loan
  • EBRD, EU and partners finance to upgrade Tirana-Durres rail line and new link to Tirana International Airport in Albania
  • Support for vital infrastructure and connectivity projects to boost regional integration of Western Balkans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and its partners are stepping up their support for strategic transport links in Albania. The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) has made available up to €35.5 million in grants from the EU to complement an EBRD loan of up to €36.9 million. 

A signing ceremony in Tirana today was attended by Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of the Republic of Albania Damian Gjiknuri, Christian Danielsson, Director General for Enlargement, DG NEAR, European Commission and Matteo Colangeli, EBRD’s head of Tirana office.

The WBIF is a joint initiative of the European Commission, international financial institutions, bilateral donors and beneficiary governments to support strategic investments in the energyenvironmentsocial, and transport sectors in the region.

The funds will serve to modernise more than 34 km of the existing railway line between Tirana and Durres on the Adriatic coast. Durres is the country’s largest port and an important regional hub for international trade. Furthermore, the finance will help to construct a new 7.4 km-long rail link, which will connect both cities to Rinas International Airport.

This strategic infrastructure project in Albania is expected to make a tangible difference both to people and businesses across the region. It improves people’s everyday lives by offering a shorter, safer journey on a key route, while also unlocking new trade opportunities for local businesses. Lastly, it promotes a shift from road services to lower-carbon rail services, thereby supporting the long-term goal of building green, sustainable and integrated economies in the Western Balkans.

The railway upgrade in Albania is part of a larger initiative that aims to support connectivity in the region. The EBRD announced in December 2017 that it had committed €190.5 million in loans for major railway improvements in the Western Balkans. The EU is providing over  €120 million in grants  to ensure these projects can be carried out.


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