The grant of the Investment Fund for the Western Balkans for the port of Durrës has been cancelled.
This is what the European Union office in Tirana told Radio Free Europe.
The reason for this decision was the modification of the project.
“As a result of the modification of the project and the change of use of the current port, the EU has canceled the remaining WBIF (Western Balkans Investment Fund) investment grant for the previous port project. We are also consulting with the representatives of the Government about investment priorities“, it is said in their answer.
The value of this grant was 28 million euros.
The project envisioned the rehabilitation of piers 1 and 2 in the West Terminal of the Port of Durrës, where almost all goods coming from abroad are processed. The intervention was necessary since one of them was built in the years 1945-1951 and the other in 1972. The only interventions were made in 1994. The project, also financed by the EU, provided for the expansion of the surface of the quays, as well as the increase of the depth of designed to accommodate even larger ships.
Meanwhile, the agreement signed between the Albanian Government and the investor from Dubai, Mohamed Alaabar, transforms the current port into a yacht port and turns Durrës, as Prime Minister Rama said, into the “Dubai of the Mediterranean”, while the commercial activity will be moved to Porto Romano . Currently, a private company operates in this area and oil cargoes are processed there.
With a decision of the council of ministers in June 2021, it was decided to expand the existing port in Porto Romano, thus paving the way for the transfer of the commercial port there and the construction of the tourist port by the Arab company.
In the response of the EU office in Tirana, it is stated that “as regards the trade agreement between Albania and the United Arab Emirates, the EU will continue to monitor the importance for the SAA and compliance with it, in dialogue with the Albanian institutions” .
Even in August of this year, the EU delegation in Albania asked the Government for more clarity and transparency regarding the agreement with the Arab company regarding the project of the navy in the Port of Durrës.
The project of the investor from Dubai, Mohamed Alaabar, for the Marina of Yachts in the Port of Durrës has brought clashes in Albanian politics.
According to the opposition, the SAA agreement is violated and the personal interests of the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, are hidden behind the project. A few days ago, the head of the DP group, Enkelejd Alibej announced that he has addressed a letter to the EU embassy in Tirana and Commissioner Oliver Varheyli on this matter.
The agreement for the port of Durrës will be voted on in the Assembly on Thursday.