Photo: Royal HaskoningDHV

Royal HaskoningDHV presents plan to future-proof Albania’s largest seaport

Plans for the new port of Durrës at Porto Romano, Albania, and a dry port in Pristina, Kosovo, have been presented to the governments of Albania and Kosovo, Dutch engineering consultancy firm Royal HaskoningDHV said.

Royal HaskoningDHV
Courtesy of Royal HaskoningDHV

The development is expected to deliver a positive impact on the economy of the entire Balkans region, along with significant improvements in social and environmental performance.

The plans by Royal HaskoningDHV and local partner Abkons reveal an ambitious transformation of maritime infrastructure in Albania and multi-modal transport in the region.

The plans will see the industrial functions of the existing Port of Durrës move out of the city to a new location in Porto Romano, nine kilometres north. The consolidation of industrial activity will have a major impact on connectivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, helping establish a world-class cargo facility which will improve trade throughout the region.

The new seaport will use the latest in green ports and automation technologies and will be interconnected with the rail network as well as road infrastructure. It’s intended that this will facilitate efficient, sustainable connectivity with the planned dry port facility in neighbouring Kosovo, creating a trade hub for the rest of the Balkan states.

Following extensive discussions, the plans now also include an inland transshipment terminal near Pristina, Kosovo, which will ensure the whole of the Balkans region will enjoy the economic benefits of the new port. The plan also incorporates the redevelopment of the existing Port of Durrës into a commercial leisure-focused waterfront, thereby improving the liveability and quality of life of the residents of this port city.

The plans were presented to the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, in June. They were then shared with the wider Albanian government and the Kosovan government at a meeting in Pristina. Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama will now visit The Hague for discussions with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and Dutch businesses including Royal HaskoningDHV on 4 July.

“The scheme allows the entire region to benefit from the increased trade, opportunities, and environmental improvements,” Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, said.

“The economic and social impact that the new port in Porto Romano brings to Albania, has given us a special kind of responsibility. The port will be a gateway to the Western Balkans and this makes us proud in the sense that this corresponds to the Abkons mission to enable large international projects with significant economic impact for the region,” Redi Basha, CEO of Abkons, said.

It’s anticipated that the first port operations could begin in 2025.