The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) awarded Albania a EUR 35.5 million grant which will complement an EBRD loan of up to EUR 36.9 million for railway projects.
These funds will support the modernisation of the 34-km line between Tirana and Durres as well as the construction of a new 7.4 km-long rail link, which will connect both cities to Rinas International Airport.
On 25 April, the EBRD launched the prequalification process on the two railway projects. The projects are scheduled to be completed within 30 months. The Tirana – Durres single line is the busiest section on the railway network, providing the access between the country’s capital and the port of Durres, Albanian second largest port and a major maritime gate of the country to Europe and the rest of the world.
The new single line to Tirana Airport will be constructed starting the 27th Km of the Durres – Tirana line by means of triangular at grade rail intersection and terminates at the Tirana International Airport, in close proximity with the airports’ terminal, by means of a central platform terminal station.
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 EUR 190.5 million in loans for major railway improvements in the Western Balkans. The EU is providing over EUR 120 million in grants to ensure these projects can be carried out.