EIB Global boosts Albania’s railway transport: €100 million for the EU-financed Vorë-Hani i Hotit railway line News | WeBalkans


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EIB Global boosts Albania’s railway transport: €100 million for the EU-financed Vorë-Hani i Hotit railway line

EIB Global, the outward facing arm of the European Investment Bank, has just unlocked a substantial €100 million loan to give Albania’s railway system a major facelift. The cash is going straight into improving the railway line that stretches a good 120 km from Vorë all the way to Hani i Hotit right up against the Montenegrin border. The project’s a big part of the EU’s actions to get rail infrastructure in the Western Balkans on the fast track to better economic ties, trade, and eco-friendly transport.


This funding mix includes the EIB’s loan, plus €126 million grant from the EU through the Western Balkans Investment Framework, and €98.75 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The deal was sealed at a ceremony in Tirana with a crowd of officials, including EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris and Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama.


EIB’s VP Kakouris, in charge of overseeing the Bank’s investments in the Western Balkans, said “This project is proof of what we can do when we join forces under the Team Europe banner. We’re set to beef up the links between Albania, its neighbours, and the EU. We’re paving the way for a smarter, sturdier, and more inclusive railway network. As the go-to bank for climate action in the EU, we’re all in on propelling Albania and the region’s railroads into the future.”


Belinda Balluku, Albania’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, stressed the bigger regional picture, “This rail line isn’t just a win for Albania; it’s a win for the whole neighbourhood, making it easier for people and goods to move around and turbocharging economic growth. With the Tirana-Durrës line already setting the pace, this new Vorë-Hani i Hotit stretch is our government’s next big step in rail transport. We’re counting on the EIB as a key ally in driving our strategic infrastructure ambitions.”


The project’s will wire up the rail track, give a fresh look to 12 stations, introduce advanced communication and signal technologies, and ramp up safety. These tweaks are set to crank up train speeds to 120 km/h, making the passenger and freight game a whole lot more efficient. This line isn’t just any line—it’s part of the big-league TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor and is the only railway rope tying Albania to the rest of Europe.


André Rizzo from the EU Delegation chimed in, “As Albania and the region stride towards EU integration, the perks are starting to roll in. The revamped Vorë-Hani i Hotit line will mean quicker, safer travel for cargo and folks along the Adriatic. It’s boosting connections and trade in Albania and beyond, plus it’s a solid step towards a greener Albania.”


To date, the EIB has been throwing quite the financial muscle behind Western Balkans’ rail projects, with a tally over €1.7 billion in the region and a whopping €40 billion globally over the last ten years. That’s a lot of tracks laid down for progress!


Background information 


About the EIB and EIB Global: 

The EIB is the long-term financing institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB supports projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance, and a key partner of the Global Gateway. We aim to support €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027 — around one-third of the overall target of this EU initiative. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world. 


About the EIB in the Western Balkans: 

The EIB is a leading international financier in the Western Balkans. Since 2010, the Bank has financed projects worth over to €10 billion in the region. On top of its continued support for the reconstruction and upgrade of public infrastructure, since 2010 the EIB has expanded into many new areas, such as healthcare, research and development, education, and small and medium enterprises. For detailed information on EIB activities in the Western Balkans, please visit: www.eib.org/en/publications/the-eib-in-the-western-balkans.  


About the EIB in Albania: 

The EIB has been active in Albania since 1995. To date, 26 projects have been financed and over €600 million invested, mostly in key transport, energy, water and wastewater infrastructure. For more information regarding the EIB’s projects in Albania, please see: Albania and the EIB 


About the Western Balkans Investment Framework 

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) is a joint initiative of the EU, financial institutions, bilateral donors and beneficiaries, aimed at enhancing harmonisation and cooperation in investments for the socio-economic development of the region and contributing to the European perspective of the Western Balkans.  

Due to its collaborative nature in line with the ‘Team Europe’ approach, the WBIF is the main vehicle for the implementation of the EU’s ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

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