Germany and Albania signed an agreement on the second tranche of loan to finance the building of the 400 kV electric transmission line connecting Albania and Macedonia.
The Albanian Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri, and ambassador of Germany in Tirana, Susanne Schutz, signed the agreement in Tirana last week, completing a financial framework for the high-voltage line connecting cities of Elbasan, Albania and Bitola, Macedonia.
The “soft loan” is secured through KfW German Development Bank. The first installment of EUR 30 million had already been disbursed through the agreement signed in July. The agreement signed on last week regulates the next installment worth EUR 20 million, while the overall cost for Albania will be around EUR 70 million. EUR 15 million will be granted by the European Union , and additional EUR 5 million would come from the Transmission System Operator (TSO).
The implementation is expected to start in early 2017, and should be finalised by the end of 2020.
Albania considers this project as an important step towards the inter-connectivity in the region, enabling the unrestricted transit of electricity, and opening opportunities for trade exchanges. The 400 kV line will help cut losses in the current transmission grid. In the near future, the line would be connected to a natural gas-run TTP in Vlora, once the TAP pipeline is finished.
According to Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, “Germany is the main contributor to this important energy project and to the 400-kV electricity transmission line with Kosovo, which will lower the import costs and create a common power market.