The European Investment Bank (EIB) lends EUR 18 million for the extension and modernisation of the Port of Durrës in Albania.

Port of Durrës is the most important port of Albania - a vital interface of the country at the Adriatic coast linking Albania with other Mediterranean countries and representing a starting point on the Pan-European corridor VIII providing connection with the FYR of Macedonia and Bulgaria.

The EIB loan will finance the upgrading of the existing ferry terminal on-shore facilities; construction of a passenger terminal building with footbridge access from Durrës railway station, a drivers' facilities building, customs facilities and a new paving and drainage infrastructure in the ferry terminal yard. The project will increase the ferry terminal capacity and upgrade facilities for passengers and drivers to modern standards.

The new terminal building will have peak vehicle handling capacities of 90 arriving/140 departing trucks and 520 arriving/750 departing cars, representing the full load of at least two ferries. There will also be space for 170 trailers. The maximum capacity of the building and facilities will be 1 900 passengers on foot.

The task of the EIB, the European Union's financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States. Outside the Union, the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.

EIB financing in Albania has exceeded EUR 260 million since 1995. After the initial focus in late 1990s on urgent reconstruction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure, EIB activity in the Western Balkans, inclusive Albania, has been centred on the upgrading of the infrastructure networks, with emphasis on fostering regional integration and removing bottlenecks in the road, rail and energy systems. In the recent time EIB lending diversifies and the Bank finances increasingly projects in the area of health and education, e.g. a loan of EUR 12.5 million supporting the implementation of the Albania's National Education Strategy signed with the Albanian Government on 16 October 2006.