Albania rehabilitation project claims ‘Best 2017 rail deal’ London award

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 8, 2018 14:58

Albania rehabilitation project claims ‘Best 2017 rail deal’ London award

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  • Albania would have already had a modern railway network in Tirana and Durres had it not unilaterally cancelled a similar contract with U.S. giant General Electric back in 2005.

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TIRANA, June 9 – Albania’s railway rehabilitation project linking Tirana and Durres, the country’s two largest cities and expanding over a new route to the country’s sole international airport has been named “Best Rail Deal 2017” by the UK’s EMEA Finance’s Project Finance Awards 2017.

London-based European Bank for Reconstruction which is co-financing the rehabilitation project, says the project, already in its tendering stage, supports the modal shift from road to lower carbon rail transport.

The awards were handed this week by London-based EMEA Finance magazine which looked at the best project finance deals that were closed in 2017.

The 34 km Tirana-Durres railway line rehabilitation project is expected to considerably improve transportation links between the country’s two largest cities, home to about 1 million residents, and serve as a faster alternative to current road transportation. In addition, a new 7.4 km-long rail link will connect both cities to Rinas International Airport.

Albania’s state-run railway transport has been constantly degrading in the past two decades with both passenger and freight transportation on a constant downward trend, and costing Albanian taxpayers millions of euros due to rising losses.

The current €90 million modernization project is financed by the European Union through Western Balkans Investment Framework grants of €35.5 million, a €37 million by London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Albanian government financing of about €16 million.

Albania would have already had a modern railway network in Tirana and Durres had it not unilaterally cancelled a similar contract with U.S. giant General Electric back in 2005.

In March 2010, the Albanian government was fined $20 million by an arbitration court over the unilateral annulment of a 2003 contract, worth €74 million with General Electric.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 8, 2018 14:58