Dredging works kicked off today to deepen widen the basin and the access channel of Durrës port to allow access to larger, deeper-draft ships of a size of over 20 000 tonnes. Prime Minister Edi Rama, accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Belinda Balluku, visited the site to inspect ongoing project designed to significantly improve cargo processing capacities in Albania’s large seaport, with a new cruise ships terminal, due to start this autumn, expected to become the port’s integral part.
“Only vessels with a draft of 7.5 meters are currently allowed to dock at the port of Durres, once the dredging project will deepen the basin and the access channel to 10.45 metres, allowing for much bigger vessels to dock at the port. The project will generate significant economic benefits as it will also improve the cargo handling capacities,” the design engineer said.
A cruise ship terminal will become an integral part of the country’s biggest port and work to construct the new terminal is set to commence this autumn.
The government head said the basin deepening and the cruise ship terminal project was indispensable, describing it as an infrastructural asset, which will attract more tourists to Durres. “The cruise ship terminal is indispensable. It will transform the situation completely and it will pave the way for an incredibly extraordinary project for Durrës, because the other planned terminal and project to build a tourist marina will bring about a historic transformation,” the Premier said. With an initial daily capacity of 500 tourists, once complete this terminal is expected to welcome around 2,500 tourists a day and process 5 cruise ships simultaneously.
Deepening the Durres port’s basin will give huge impetus to the country’s economy as it will allow for the handling of much bigger cargo ships that currently cannot dock at the port, as well as it will also boost the tourist processing capacities. “Deepening of the basin will allow much bigger vessels to anchor. The transport prices will also fall. The project is economically appealing. Port in Montenegro has a draft of 11 meters, but that county has no minerals. If a cargo ship is loaded with 30 000 tonnes of chromium, the vessel can sail straight to China. The project will give a fresh huge impetus to the chromium and minerals industry. The project will also allow a higher number of larger cruise ships to dock at the port,” the Durres port’s captain said.
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