Published on: 20 June 2014

Cani signes an 18 million Euros contract for Vlora Bypass

The Albanian Government signed today an 18 million Euros contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB), in order to finance the construction of the Vlora Bypass. The financial contract was signed by the Minister of Finance Mr. Shkëlqim Cani and the EIB Vice President, Mr. Dario Scannapieco, at the headquarters of the Prime Minister.  The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister Edi Rama, the Minister of Transport Edmond Haxhinasto, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Arben Ahmetaj and the Minister of Energy and Industry Damian Gjiknuri.

In a press release, after signing the agreement, the Minister of Finance Shkëlqim Cani said: "The agreement which provides the financing for Vlora Bypass is another step towards the confidence in the reliability of the Albanian governments’ public projects in its efforts to modernize the national infrastructure and regional integration. The cooperation with the European Investment Bank is already a consolidated and undisputable partnership on our path towards the European integration. The Bypass construction project in Vlora is one of the priority projects of the government, in accordance with the National Strategy for Development and Integration. Its objective is to increase the speed of the movement, to improve and release the traffic, increase the comfort and safety on the road, as well as to improve the environmental situation in the city of Vlora.

The realization of this project as a link to the north-south line is extremely important for the development of southern Albania, industrial development, tourism, and the impact on agriculture from the transportation of agricultural products. There is a high economic feasibility of the project in all examined scenarios. The total estimated cost of the project is approximately 53 million Euros, excluding here VAT, the feasibility study or detailed study and supervision. Beside the European Investment Bank, in this project other financial funds are provided by EBRD, EU utilizing IPA funds from the year 2011, and the Albanian government.

The loan financing terms provided by the European Investment Bank are: The amount is 18 million Euros; maturity time is 25 years, including six years with no principal payment; at the time of disbursement, it should be considered the market interest rates. The project will be completed by March 2017. I wish the developers of the project and also the Minister of Transport lots of success in the fulfillment of this project ".

Afterwards, the vice president of the European Investment Bank, said: "I am extremely happy to be here with you and that we can sign this contract together. This contract is going to further contribute to the development of road infrastructure and it is going to release the city of Vlora from the heavy traffic, especially during summer.

Mr. Minister, you have explained us what the project is all about, therefore, we are dealing with 29 kilometers of new road, which will actually give an easier and safer access on the south coast of Albania. Also, these roads will distribute traffic away from the city or center of Vlora.

 But, besides this project, let me express you that we feel very satisfied after the meeting that we had a few minutes before, in which we decided to put all these projects that we fund and discussed into a stable framework. And also, in order to further strengthen the cooperation between the European Investment Bank and the Albanian Government. We believe it is essential that we continue to support Albania's economic growth, in order to further recognize its role not only in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, but in the entire region in general and that your country to be an epicenter of the ongoing projects that will occur throughout the region.

This is an important moment to fight unemployment, but also to restore economic growth. At this point, we believe that there should be continuous work done for competitiveness, but also for the investments not only in the region but also in Albania.

EIB is a bank of course, but in addition it is also an institution of the European Union, which was established by the Treaty of Rome. And when they ask us what exactly EIB is, it is a development bank, I say it is not only that, it is more than that, it is a bank that promotes integration. I think that exactly this word, the word integration is the proper word for Albania, in order for Albania to be included in its important role in this macro region. Let me assure you on behalf of the Bank that EIB will continue to support you in all these projects.

Allow me to thank you from the heart, for the fruitful meeting that we had today, and not only, but also for the previous meeting we had, where you had the kindness to give us your vision for the future ".

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