An international tender for another major project designed to boost Albania’s solar power capacities was launched today with the new photovoltaic park in Spitalle, located in the former marshland of Durres, where an international auction for the new cargo port and economic zone will soon open.
Prime Minister Edi Rama’s remarks at the ceremony held on this occasion at the Prime Minister’s office:
Although the specific conditions of this period stipulate that a very small number of people can attend, this is actually a very significant event for the not too distant future of our economy, for the not too distant future of our electric power industry, as well as for the increasingly improved image of our country at a time when the entire world is extremely worried about the energy resources and the indispensability for its diversification.
It is also a very important event even for more what I already said as it is directly related to the development of an area with a strategic gravity for our country’s economy and tourism, the area of Durres, where the process will clear the way to the construction of another photovoltaic park in Albania following the Karavasta park, about which the relevant procedures have already completed and work is set to kick off soon in the first construction site of the solar power in Albania.
This photovoltaic park due to be located in Spitalle is part of a mosaic that materializes our vision for Durrës 2030 and also our vision for Albania 2030. With this new solar power park located in this area, which for many years now has been always seen as a suburb with the only available space hosting chaotic illegal constructions from those who have moved from the country’s most remote areas to larger urban centres, we take just an initial step that will followed by many other steps, starting with the construction of a new residential neighbourhood, set to be as impressive as the new schools being built, but understandably featuring much bigger proportions in terms of the volume and in terms of the reconstruction challenge in view of creating a community space that meets every standard for all affected families that lost their homes on November 26 last year.
In the meantime, the container port – the international tender for its construction will open soon – will allow for the relocation of the many years-long maritime transport activity at the heart of the city and pave the way for the transformation of the old maritime port into a major tourist port that will provide Durres with a powerful magnet not only to attract more visitors and establish a missing tourism category in terms of volume, which is the elite tourism, but it will also enhance Durres attractive power as an important destination in the tourist Mediterranean.
Likewise, a new free economic zone is part of these developments, a project about which a lot has been said over so many years and efforts have been made to move forward with it. We, too, have taken two or three steps to take this project forward, but these steps turned out to be unsuccessful due to the lack of interest that has to do with many aspects that it is impossible to elaborate on here. We now see a growing interest in developing it, even though, frankly speaking, this period of the pandemic has hindered many processes, it has complicated and halted many processes all over the world – not only here – but it has also halted important processes to us.
We believe it is really fundamental to place the stone of this photovoltaic park in this overall mosaic, which follows the successful international auction for the construction of the Karavasta photovoltaic park, which made the international headlines regarding the way how it was held and its fantastic result. We truly believe that based on that process, as the Minister and the EBRD representative already noted, we will successfully deliver on another important project and we will succeed in the efforts to further boost the country’s power generation capacities through another solar power resource, as well as with the opportunity to use around 70% of this production to meet the internal market needs.
The ecological park of Porto Romano, which is increasingly taking shape, is also located there. I am hopeful that it will become a new destination not only for Durres local residents, but also for international visitors as it will offer a completely new space for everyone in view of recreation. The ecological park will be a spectacular embodiment of a historic transformation from the horrendous wound and the gangrene of waste and trash that rotted on the ground over decades, creating shameful mountains of waste that often made the headlines in the leading international media as an environmental and ecological catastrophe right at the heart of Europe, but which will soon be transformed into a beautiful and significant embodiment of the vision for the future of this country.
I wish and a really home that we will be again here soon – with God help as the saying has it, because nothing is predictable during this time – to finally unblock next week the process for the construction of Vlora international airport, about which we have made constant efforts and which I see as another very important stone on the overall mosaic of Albania we envision and fight every day to turn it into a true reality in this four-year period we are in.
I am concluding by thanking everyone who contributed to this preparation and I avail myself of this opportunity to tell all those who are watching us that work on a project doesn’t start when they are presented on TV. The construction sites are not actually launched when they are made public, but when they are conceived, designed, when all processes are carried out, when the due funding is secured and when the contracts are negotiated. It has taken a huge preparatory work for us to hold this communication today. I believe it is a solid preparatory work that will secure us success, according to the calendar published here by the minister, always with God’s help, because we had some disappointing experiences in this period, when in a few days, before finalizing certain processes, we had to slow down ourselves as a result of new objective conditions created by the pandemic. No less important, because it is related to today’s event, we have concluded the agreement with the United Arab Emirates for the construction of new residential neighbourhood that will be funded by them in the Spitalle area, but also for the new apartment buildings that will be built in those areas above the city, which have been picked to host the reconstruction projects right where the ruins of the apartment buildings were removed after the blow they received on November 26. This neighbourhood is the other side of this beautiful medal today that became obvious to everyone with the launch of this very important process for our electric power sector and Albania’s image in the eyes of the entire community of the European Union member states.
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