An investment project worth almost € 15 million, the largest ever implemented in the port of Vlora, second largest port in Albania, will add a new dimension to the role and functioning of this important gateway to one of Albania’s most famous coastal cities and popular tourist destinations. The project has been designed to match with the port’s new development perspective and profile as a major harbor for anchoring and ferry processing. In addition to this major investment, a project on expansion of the passenger terminal is also underway in an investment worth about 213 million lek. The port structure has expanded and envisages the processing of 3 to 4 ferries at the same time in a project designed to reconstruct and expand the port’s western quay, advance the offshore belt linking the two existing quays and deepen the basin and extend the processing facilities by about 3 hectares.
Prime Minister Edi Rama inspected the ongoing works at the Vlora port. The port’s Director Admir Malaj said that the new passengers will complete in the next two months, whereas 80 percent of works to expand the two quays have already completed. “The new terminal, a project worth 212 million lek, covers an area of about 2700 square meters. The old terminal’s area was around 383 square meters and offered only a few number of handling and service facilities. The entrance will be entirely built with thermal glass façade. The Border Police will be housed in new expanded facilities that will process around 3000 passengers. Next year, by the next tourism season, I believe that along with new quay expansion project we will provide access for a larger number of passengers. The works to construct the terminal will complete in two months,” Malaj said.
PM Rama noted in his remarks that the port will mostly help development of tourism sector and it needs to integrate with the Vlora Waterfront Promenade, or Lungomare, so that it becomes accessible to every citizen. “The next challenge we face is to draft the urban plan for the entire area, so that it becomes part of the city. The port cannot be isolated from the rest of the city. We will then embark on the next phase of the Waterfront Promenade project on the other side. However, a plan should be designed soon in order to link the port with Waterfront Promenade. This is the focal point for now,” PM Rama said.
Vlora Mayor Dritan Leli said that the city’s urban planning foresees the rehabilitation of the whole area stretching between the port and the Waterfront Promenade.
On his part, the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Damian Gjiknuri underlined that efforts are underway to introduce a new ferry line for which an Albanian company is ready to invest, thus giving a very positive impact to tourism in the country.
The existing passenger terminal of Vlora port covers an area of around 400 square meters and it fails to meet the basic conditions for the growing number of passengers moving through this port. The terminal expansion project consists of increasing service quality, speed in processing operations and controls, and functional environments to handle any influx of people at peat season.