Feasibility Study Finds the Albanian Government Doubled Highway Cost

The feasibility study for the Thumanë-Kashar highway shows the government awarded the concession contract for its construction to a private company at double the cost.

The Albanian government planned in its 2019 budget, and awarded the €330 million concession contract for the construction of the 20.4 km-long highway, without a prior feasibility study.

In January, 2019, during the student protest in Albania, the government announced it was cancelling the contract in order to funnel the money to education.

A Ministry of Infrastructure report dated June, 2019, shows that the feasibility study estimated the actual cost for the construction of this highway at €169,3 million, nearly half the cost planned by the government.

Without a feasibility study, the government had awarded the the concession contract at a value estimated to be twice larger than the actual cost.

The 20.4 km-long Thumanë–Kashar highway is part of the Adriatic–Ionian Motorway, which also includes the 15 km-long Milot–Balldre highway. The latter’s concession contract was also awarded to a private company for €300 million. The opposition has denounced the project as a “typical corruption and money laundering scheme”.