Durrës, Albania (PortSEurope) April 17, 2021 – Durrës Port Authority has joined the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) as an observer member. Durrës is Albania’s largest port, accounting for 90% of country’s international maritime freight traffic and more than 40% of Albania’s total international freight traffic. “With this new observer membership, ESPO is again strengthening its presence in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. I am confident that
Port of Durrës’s membership of ESPO will further strengthen the already good relations between the port and many ESPO members, and since Albania is now clearly on its way to accession to the EU, we are very happy to welcome Albania’s premier port in the ESPO family,” Annaleena Mäkilä, ESPO’s Chair said. “As Albania and the EU are ready to commence accession talks, our cooperation is all the more important. We are committed to becoming an active partner of the ESPO network and count on its unparalleled expertise to help us improve standards of operation, port governance and strengthen the Albanian maritime sector as a whole,” Pirro Vengu, CEO of Durrës Port Authority said. “We are looking forward to inform the Port of Durrës about the EU policy on ports, to help them in their preparation to EU accession, to exchange good practices and challenges and to integrate them in our network of port professionals,” said Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General. The ESPO is the principal interface between European seaports and the European institutions and its policy makers. ESPO represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of 22 (out of 27) Member States of the European Union (EU) and Norway at EU political level. ESPO also has observer members in Albania, Iceland, Israel, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Durres (Durrës, Durrësi) is Albania’s main port located near the Strait of Otranto. It is only 33 km west of the capital Tirana. Durrës is at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea and opposite the Italian ports of Bari (300 km away) and Brindisi (200 km away). It serves as a main gate for European Corridor VIII and Corridor Durrës–Kukës–Morinë. Port of Durrës handles 81.8% of all domestic transport and over 90% of freight transport. It has the largest cargo, container, ferry and passenger terminals in Albania. In the past several years the port of Durrës is becoming the sea gate for land-locked Kosovo and North Macedonia. Its position is further strengthened with the agreed €204 million ($250.58 million) financing for infrastructure works in Albania and Kosovo from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and €77.6 million of funding from donors (Read PortSEurope article Albania’s port of Durres gets closer to landlocked Kosovo and North Macedonia). The location and connection to the most important European corridors places Albania in a geographically strategic position. Albania connects the Western Mediterranean countries with the Balkan and Asian countries. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2021.