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Italy Lends 51.5 Mln Euro for Energy Projects in Albania 7 avril 2006

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Energy / Energie, EU / UE, South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est.
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SeeNews, April 5, 2006

Tirana (Albania)

Italy will lend Albania 51.5 million euro ($63.2 million) interest-free for three major energy projects to raise transmission capacity of the country’s energy grid and aid its integration into the regional network, the Albanian Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.Albania’s cabinet approved a 51.5 million loan agreement with Italy for a three-year programme aimed at strengthening the transmission capacity of the country’s energy network, the ministry said in a statement.

The loan is to be repaid in 39 years, including a 19-year grace period.

The money will finance three major projects – the construction of an energy dispatching centre; of a 400 kV transmission line between Tirana and nearby Elbasan, both in central Albania; and of a 400/220 kV electric sub-station in Tirana and enlargement of the existing sub-station in Elbasan.

« This investment, jointly with other financing secured by Germany and worth 43.9 million euro, which is for the construction of a transmission line between Tirana and Podgorica [Montenegro], will guarantee imports of higher-quality energy from the countries in the region, » Deputy Economy Minister Gjergji Bojaxhi was quoted in the statement as saying.

Implementation of the programme will allow Albania to participate in the European Union-backed project for the creation of a South Eastern Europe Regional Energy Market (SEEREM).

« The target […] is integration of the Albanian energy sector in the Balkan market, » the statement said.

The SEEREM initiative, signed by the EU, Albania, Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and the United Nations-run Serbian province of Kosovo in late 2003, aims to establish
harmonised regional electricity and natural gas markets through tariff reforms and appointment of independent regulators.

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