Royal HaskoningDHV Presents Game-Changing Plan For 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. The development will 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.

World-class cargo facility

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.

Porto Romano
Porto Romano. Image Credit: Royal HaskoningDHV.

Economic benefits
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.

Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister said: “I was delighted to see the plans brought forward for the new port at Porto Romano. This is a fantastic opportunity to set a new standard in planning and connectivity. The scheme allows the entire region to benefit from the increased trade, opportunities, and environmental improvements. I feel we are in safe hands with Royal HaskoningDHV, and I look forward to the next stage.”

Meeting in Pristina
Meeting in Pristina. Image Credit: Royal HaskoningDHV.

Rare opportunity
Erik Oostwegel, CEO of Royal HaskoningDHV said: “Starting with a blank canvas is a rare privilege for our port planners and engineers. In moving the industrial side of the port operation, we essentially had the opportunity to plan an entirely new port that will help improve the transport logistics in the whole of the Balkans region.

“As well as bringing employment opportunities to the area, the centralisation of the industrial elements will set new standards for planning in Albania. It will pave the way for a more coherent development strategy and ensure the stunning coastline of the country is preserved for the benefit of residents and to increase tourism activities.”

The plans were presented to 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. This visit is to deepen both the bilateral political and economic cooperation agenda.

Porto Romano
Porto Romano. Image Credit: Royal HaskoningDHV.

Royal HaskoningDHV is working closely with the project team of Durrës Port Authority and local partner Abkons, who is a leading provider of engineering, development and consulting services in the region. Following the completion of the masterplan stage, the team will now proceed to the detailed design of the phase one development of Porto Romano.

Redi Basha, CEO of Abkons: “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.

“We are fully committed to deliver this project to the highest international standards. Sharing this commitment with Royal HaskoningDHV has made this venture even more rewarding. We feel delighted to be working together for the development of the first modern port in the country.”

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

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