From: Alice Taylor
Albanian Government to Continue Contracts with Controversial Incinerator Companies

Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed the government would continue to pay the controversial incinerator companies, despite the owners of the companies being declared wanted by prosecutors.

During his last address to the nation in 2021, he said the government would continue to implement the legal contract, regardless of the fact the beneficiaries are under investigation for active corruption and money laundering.

Rama told BIRN, “they are contractual relations imposed by law to continue until there are final decisions by the courts. These are contractual relations that must be implemented until justice speaks.”

On 14 December, ex-energy minister Lefter Koka was arrested by a special prosecution to detect high-level corruption, SPAK. At the same time, Stela Gugallja, owner of the company Albtek Energy, and Klodian Zoto, owner of ITS, were declared wanted.

They are the beneficiaries of concessions that were awarded without demand, need, or solicitation, and they and their companies have no experience in the sector of waste management or incineration. The contracts awarded are for incinerators in Tirana, Elbasan and Fier.

The contracts significantly favour the companies involved as they see the state paying millions for every day the incinerators are not built or do not burn waste. This has incentivised the companies to delay the construction of the sites for almost six years while they pocked millions in taxpayers funds.

Exit Explains: Albania’s Three Waste Incinerators