In 2014, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Albania called for an overall strategic plan for the redevelopment of the city of Elbasan, drawn up by Walloon experts.
Elbasan is one of the most polluted cities in Albania and, although industrial activities have long since ceased, the level of soil, air and water pollution is still very high and represents a danger to human health and the environment. Today connected to the capital Tirana by a highway serving the south of the peninsula, Elbasan is set to witness a significant economic and urban redevelopment over the next twenty years. The remediation of some 600 hectares of heavily polluted brownfield sites is therefore essential.
With this in mind, and in the absence of any overall study into the remediation of the brownfields, the Albanian regional and national authorities are in need of an overall rehabilitation plan defining the priority areas to be treated, the possibilities of recovering materials (to relieve the financial burden) as well as the outline of an economic development strategy.
This strategic remediation study has been divided into two distinct parts:
The ultimate goal of the project will be the drafting of a general note outlining the recommended rehabilitation strategy alongside a basic economic analysis, prioritization of actions and a planning proposal.
The first part of the study is currently being conducted by SPAQuE, in collaboration with the AENERGYES research consultancy, and with the assistance of the municipality of Elbasan and specialists from the city, the Albanian ministries concerned (Infrastructure, Economy, Environment), etc.
This first part is financed by the Walloon Region. Funding for the second part of the study remains to be secured.
This strategic study is the first step in the implementation of the region’s future development programme. Extensive soil studies and major remediation work will then be rolled out and a number of economic, industrial and tourism projects could be undertaken in partnership with Walloon companies and the Albanian authorities.
Furthermore, the twinning project recently launched between the cities of Elbasan and Liege is an excellent opportunity to lay the foundations for fruitful cooperation between economic players and businesses in both regions.