Its location at the center of a natural crossroad of the main transport corridors across Europe, places Albania in a strategic geographic position. With the completion of Corridor VIII, the expected implementation of the gas pipeline project TAP, with further development of infrastructures capacities of the leading ports, Albania will connect Mediterranean hub ports and European markets they serve, with the Balkan Region and further with the markets surrounding the Black Sea. The general Albanian transport infrastructure is subject to the general transportation plan, adopted every five years by the Albanian Government, which has recently focused its performance in the construction of new parts of the transport network, especially of the road.
In relation to infrastructure, one of the largest projects was the completion of the highway Corridor Durrës – Kukës – Morinë, also called “The Nation’s Road”. This important axis with a length of 170 km, connects the capital and the port of Durres, with the new state of Kosovo.
Albania has approximately 20,000 km of roads and road construction is growing rapidly. Corridor VIII, currently under construction, will connect the Albanian port of Durres with the Varna (Bulgaria) through Tirana, Thana Neck, Skopje, Deve Bair, Sofia, Plovdiv and Burgas. This corridor will be the main east-west connection through Albania and will become an important transport link between the Mediterranean and Balkan countries.
In 2008, special attention was paid to regional cooperation in the context of road transport with neighboring countries such as Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Greece. During 2011 were reconstructed across the country 452 km of roads from which 132 km have been completed and 320 are in the process of conclusion. In 2011 began the reconstruction of many major roads, including: Highway Elbasan-Tirana, Librazhd-Qafë Thane, segment Lin-Pogradec etc.
The only airport operating in Albania is theTirana International Airport, Mother Tereza situated about 18 km in the northwest (16 km in the airline) of Tirana, which is the largest project and the most important investment in this sector. The geographical coordinates are 41°21′54″V, 19°43′14″L.
Passengers for 2012 : 1,665,331
Cargo for 2012 : 1,866
Mail : 382
Regular routes for 2012 : 18,832
Charter : 1,576
The railway network in Albania is composed of 441 km of primary railways and 230 km secondary railways. Main priority is the reactivation of the railway network through leverage of private capital and financing international institutions as well as various donors.
Sea transport in Albania is carried out through 4 ports: Durrës, Vlora, Saranda and Shengjini.
The largest and the most important one is the Port of Durrës, which captures 81.8% of all the country’s maritime transport.
Utilities and cost
Albania has enormous potential for generating electricity through the utilization of water resources (hydro), wind, solar and biomass energy resources.
The public electricity production in 2011 was accomplished mainly by hydroelectric plants; 98.57% of total energy production was from HPP’s and only 1.42% from the TPP of Vlora. The total net production of electricity from generating public companies was 4,021,245 million kWh, while the production from private HPP’s was 136,831 million kWh.
From the comparison of electricity generation during the period 2007 – 2011 large fluctuations are observed from one year to another. Year 2011 isn’t indeed considered a good hydrological year, while 2010 is considered an extraordinary one with energy production amounting to 7,743.295 million kWh.
Increasing investments in water supply network and sewerage have further enhanced the status of this sector. Alone in 2010, this sector received about 10 billion ALL of investments, 6.5 billion ALL of which came from the state budget and the remainder from foreign funds. The government passed budget increase in this field to give boost to tourism projects and help areas that face difficulties insupplying water. As a consequence, the National Network the Water Supply was extended by 47 km.
The table below provides a breakdown of the costs of drinking water and contaminated water, to various categories in the major cities of Albania.
The price of water and sanitation (ALL/m3) for the year 2011
|Town|| ||Drinking water lek/m3|| || ||Contaminated water lek/m3|| |
|Sh.A.U Elbasan fshat||36||110||110||-||-||-|
Source: Albanian Water Regulatory Authority (WRA)Note: Prices given above do not include VAT
Albanian telecommunications services includes fixed telephony and mobile telephony. The operator of fixed telephone isAlbtelecom Sh.a., 76% of whose shares are owned by CETEL (Ankara), which is composed of one of the largest companies in Turkey, Calik Group 80% and Turk Telekom 20 percent. While the rest of the shares of 24% is owned by the Albanian government and other stakeholders.
|Fixed tariffs applied by Albtelecom||Businesses||Individuals|
|Service||Tariffs (ALL)||Tariffs (ALL)|
|Monthly subscription fee||1,920||530,4|
| ||Businesses|| ||Individuals|| |
| ||08:00 - 22:00||22:00 - 08:00||08:00 - 22:00||22:00 - 08:00|
|Albtelecom Network|| || || || |
|Within the Region||4.68||3.90||3.60||3.00|
|Between the Regions||11.70||9.86||7.66||6.16|
|National Calls to other fixed alternative operators|| || || || |
|Within the Region||7.80||6.24||5.38||4.68|
|Between the Regions||17.33||12.48||10.14||8.09|
|Towards mobile operators||54.00||42.00||31.31||24.00|
|International Calls|| || || || |
Note: All the above prices have been updated according to data provided by Albtelecom by date. 14.08.2012 and do not include VAT
Source: Albtelecom Sh.a., www.albtelecom.al
In late 2011, the number of mobile phone subscribers reached approximately 5.2 million, which represents a penetration rate (number of users per 100 inhabitants) of 185%, a figure which is much higher than the level of 140% in 2010, or the average in the European Union countries by 124% in 2010.
The first mobile operator in Albania, was launched in May 1996 by the Albanian Mobile Communication (AMC), which privatized 85%of total shares worth 85,600,000 euros through COSMOTE Telenor Consortium. The remainder 12.6% of state shares was privatized in March 2009 for a value of 48,200,000 euros. AMC has the highest number of employees in the telecommunications sector with over 500 specialized employees.
Licensed in 2001, Vodafone Albania was the second mobile operator in Albania. Vodafone’s GSM network covers 90.86% of the territory of Albania and the 99.6% Albanians in rural and urban areas.
Eagle Mobile, the third mobile operator in Albania, entered the market in October 2008. The company had an increase of 35% in the number of users from the year 2010 to year 2011.
In the year 2009, the fourth licensed mobile operator Plus Communication entered the Albanian market. This was a “joint venture” between several Albanian local companies and Kosovo Post Telecommunication. The company had an increase of 370 thousand users comparing to 2010.
According to data pertaining to the first half of 2010, 96 Internet providers are currently operating in Albania. Most of them are located in Tirana and other cities in western Albania. Internet is mainly offered through ADSL and the Hybrid Fiber-Coax. According to Electronic and Postal Communications Authority – (AKEP)data, with the increase of the broadband Internet users for the year 2011, their number reached 161,000. For the same period, the number of broadband lines per 100 inhabitants rose to around 6.2%, compared to 3.7% that was at the end of 2010.
The leading internet service providers include:
Source : www.aida.gov.al