The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing institution is lending EUR 30 million (1) for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the electricity transmission and distribution network in Albania.

The loan is being advanced to Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH), a state-owned utility set up in 1992 to engage in electricity generation, transmission and supply nationwide. As a state entity, KESH owns and operates a unified power system of a total installed capacity of 1 684 MW, interconnected with Montenegro, Kosovo and Greece. 

The loan will part-finance capital expenditure embracing around 16 substations, 2.4 kilometres of 220KV overhead lines, 6 KM of 110 KV lines, and some 1000 20 KV/low-voltage lines, as well as transformers and some 250 000 electricity meters. The various project components will help to meet the growing demand for electricity in Albania, improve quality of power supply and reduce network losses.

Mr E. Nowotny, EIB Vice-President, stated: "The EIB's support reconfirms the Bank's commitment to the reconstruction and development of the Balkan economies. The financing structure of the project is an excellent example of EIB cooperation with bilateral donors from Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland as well as other multilateral financing institutions such as EBRD and World Bank". 

The EIB was established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, finances capital investment projects, which further European Union policy objectives. It also helps implement the EU's co-operation policies towards third countries. The EIB is a lead player in implementing the European Union's priority objectives in the Balkan area.Active in Albania since 1994, the EIB has contributed over EUR 130 million towards projects of key importance for the Albanian economy, such as various infrastructure investments and the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises in the productive and cooperative sectors through a global loan (credit line) to Albania's banking sector.

(1) 1 EUR: 0.596700 GBP, 130.888 ALL