Albania-Kosovo Road Costs 'Over €1 Billion'

Tirana, December 11, 2008 – The 61 kilometre-long Rreshen-Kalimash section of the Albanian-Kosovo highway is costing Albania €1,027 billion, according to a report from Balkan Insight.

However, because the highway is not yet finished, its final cost could rise further. The Rreshen-Kalimash section is only a part of the 170 kilometre highway. Albania’s government has declined to give a clear estimate of the final costs of the road.

The highway, which links the port of Durres with Kosovo and includes a six kilometre-long tunnel, is the country’s biggest public works project in decades.

Almost 89 per cent of Albania’s capital expenditures during the 2008 fiscal year have been spent for the on the highway, data published by Ministry of Finance suggests.

For the nine months ending on September 30, Albania had spent €328 million from its €373 million capital expenditures budget on the road.

About half of this sum was raised in the international market as syndicated commercial loans. Albania will need to invest another €250 million to complete the project, due to be finalised in the summer of 2009.