EIB assesses loan for Albania Corridor VIII rail section

Durres – Rrogozhine rail The European Investment Bank is assessing the project for the modernisation of Durres – Rrogozhine rail line in Albania with a proposed finance of around EUR 90 million.

The project covers the rehabilitation, modernisation and electrification, the installation of signalling and telecommunication systems for the 34 km of single track railway line from the port of Durres to Rrogozhinë in central Albania. This part of the line originally opened in 1950, after which it has been subject only of normal maintenance.

The infrastructure is in poor condition and not compliant with European standards. Services on this part of the rail network have virtually ceased, due in large part to the deteriorated condition of the infrastructure.

The project, together with other investments and sectoral reforms, is expected to contribute to modal shift from road to rail and thereby generate economic benefits in terms of operating, safety and environmental savings.

In February 2020, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania and the representatives of the EIB started the EU-funded technical assistance (TA), including the detailed design for the rehabilitation of the railway section Durres – Rrogozhine. Through the upgrade, the rail line will meet European standards, increase train speeds and improve travel safety, notably at level crossings.

For the detailed surveys, including environmental baseline surveys, detailed design, as well as for the tender documents for the construction works and supervision of construction, the EU has allocated two TA grants through the WBIF in the amount of EUR 2.42 million. The total estimated investment cost for this rehabilitation project is around EUR 62 million, provided by the European Investment Bank and through national contribution.

The Durres – Rrogozhine rail line is part of the multi-modal Corridor VIII which connects the southern Italian ports, Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

The project is a significant component of the progressive completion of Corridor VIII, a 1,500 km multi-modal corridor running east/west between Varna port in Bulgaria, crossing North Macedonia and Albania, and connecting via Durres port to the southern Italian ports on the Adriatic coast.

The section is part of WBIF project ‘Comprehensive Network: Rehabilitation of Durrës – Pogradec – Lin railway line and construction of Lin – border with North Macedonia Line on Corridor VIII’. The global project covers the rehabilitation of the 136 km Durrës – Rrogozhinë – Lin rail line and the construction of a 2.8 km railway link from Lin to the border with North Macedonia, along the corridor.

EUR 356.6 million of the total financing of the project, of which EUR 65 million in grants and EUR 166.46 million in loans. Thus, the loans cover 71.9% of the project’s costs, and while the grants, 28.1%.

The grants provided by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) have a total value of EUR 65 million, while two EIB loans are worth EUR 166.46 million. Other sources cover EUR 125 million, while the national contribution is EUR 100,000.

The entire project is expected to be completed at the end of 2028.

Albania’s rail network lacks overhauls and modernisation works since commissioning and allows a maximum speed of 60 km/h. The non-electrified rail network and the existing telecommunication and signalling systems are obsolete causing frequent traffic interruptions as well as a ,imited capacity.


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