SEATTLE — Albania is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Although Albania suffered an economic slowdown following the global financial crisis in 2008, its economy has been improving since 2014. Development projects in Albania have contributed to its economic revival. The following development projects in Albania illustrate the steps that the country has taken towards improvement.
GrCF: UKT Tirana Water Company
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is in the process of loaning Ujesjelles Kanalizime Tirana (Tirana’s Water and Wastewater Utility Company) up to €30 million in two installments.
The loan’s first installment will finance increased capacity of the Bovilla Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and construction of a water pipeline that transfers water from WTP to northwestern Tirana.
The direction of the loan’s second installment will be determined later. Although the project has passed final review, it is still pending board approval.
EBRD has awarded a sovereign loan to Albania for the benefit of Albanian Railways. The loan will finance the rehabilitation of the existing railway linking Tirana and Durres. It will also finance the construction of a new railway to connect the existing railway with the Tirana International Airport.
Project for Integrated Urban and Tourism Development (PIUTD)
The development objectives for Albania’s PIUTD include improving urban infrastructure, enhancing tourism assets and strengthening the institutional capacity for tourism. The project consists of four components:
- Urban upgrading includes restoring selected heritage buildings, upgrading public spaces, the street network and related infrastructure and conducting construction supervision.
- Tourist sites upgrading will be accomplished through the restoration of selected cultural and heritage assets, the creation of rest stops or viewpoints and the improvement of site infrastructure. Upgrading tourist sites requires feasibility studies, management plans, engineering designs and construction supervision.
- The tourism market and product development will increase the capacity of cities to provide asset management systems, geographic information systems and solid waste collection equipment. It will also establish site management capacity.
- Implementation support focuses on maintaining the project monitoring and evaluation system, as well as operating costs.
KESH Restructuring Project
The Albanian power corporation KESH received a loan from EBRD which should improve its sector management and operational efficiency. The loan proceeds will refinance and lengthen short-term sovereign guaranteed overdrafts with commercial banks. The loans alleviate critical cash shortages created by hydrology conditions and sector organizations.
Natural Resources Development Project
The Natural Resources Development Project aims to establish and maintain sustainable natural resource management in 218 communes. The project will enhance productivity, increase incomes, improve water management, reduce soil degradation and strengthen public sector management.
Development projects in Albania — and around the world — exemplify the ongoing process of progress. Continued effort on these projects can do much to improve the daily lives and livelihoods of Albanians.
– Carolyn Gibson