"This support, which comes mainly in the form of soft loans, aims to develop waste management according to EU standards, rehabilitate the Fierza hydropower plant and support regional development in the south coast area and the Korca-Pogradec area. . These are important topics for the sustainable and environmentally friendly development of the country ", it is said in the announcement of the German embassy in Tirana.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the German government by the German Ambassador to Tirana, Peter Zingraf. For the Albanian side, it was signed by Belinda Balluku, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, who described Germany as "one of the strategic partners and always close to Albania, in these important decades for its recovery."
"The financing of these projects will be based on loans on favorable terms from KfW, which is one of our most important and reliable partners in the development of regional infrastructure," she noted.
Where will the investments be made?
The first agreement concerns investments in the Fierza Hydropower Plant to improve electricity production. According to the official data of the Electric Power Corporation of Albania (KESH), Lake Fierza - the reservoir of the Fierza Hydropower Plant - the main in Albania. has a capacity of 2.7 billion cubic meters of water. When there is heavy rainfall, the level of Lake Fierza rises critically. At the beginning of this month, the inflows from the rain reached 1700 cubic meters per second, a quantity that experts have considered similar to that of 2010, when there was an emergency situation: the gates of the hydropower plant were opened to discharge water, in in the district of Shkodra 2400 dwellings were flooded and 10 thousand hectares of land were under water.
In such cases, the Fierza Hydropower Plant increases production but the risk of floods is present and the costs of damage from them are high. German-backed investments are expected to increase production and avoid losses in the event of emissions.
The second agreement concerns investments aimed at increasing and developing tourism capacities to give new impulses to the economy in areas with tourist potential in the municipalities of Himara, Korça, Pogradec and Pustec, where a Macedonian minority also lives. .
The third agreement includes investments in sustainable and environmentally friendly management in the solid waste sector. In the summer of Germany gave a grant of 1.8 million euros to conduct feasibility studies in this sector. A press release from the German Development Bank (KfW) regarding the grant in question noted that "solid waste management is an important area within the key municipal infrastructure sector in Albania".
The study is expected to provide a detailed overview of measures, investments and development models for the establishment, operation and sustainable maintenance of solid waste infrastructure, in line with European Union standards. It is being carried out in close co-operation with two studies funded by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) as well as assistance provided by the Swiss Agency for Economic Co-operation and Development (SECO) for a sector-wide investment plan.
Albania has a Master Plan and investment plan in the field of solid waste management. The newly signed agreement is in line with this master plan and is expected to have a positive impact not only on the harmonization of standards in this area with those of the EU but also on improving the environmental conditions and living conditions of citizens.
Germany-Albania financial cooperation has already provided support for the construction of a sanitary landfill in Maliq, Korça, finances the construction of a sanitary landfill and the establishment of a solid waste collection system in Vlora. The newly signed agreement includes the construction of a landfill in Berat.
Albania - partner country of German development cooperation.
The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Federal Foreign Office) on its website describes Albania as "a partner country of German development cooperation ..
"Germany is cooperating with the Albanian government to promote the development of a socially and ecologically stable market economy. Since 1988, Germany has contributed funds amounting to over 1 billion euros, a contribution that makes it one of Albania's most important donors in bilateral relations. Germany is the 11th largest investor in Albania ", emphasizes the German Foreign Ministry./DW