Albania occupies a strategic geographical location in Southeastern Europe with a natural opening to European markets and the Balkan, located in the center of natural crossroads of major European corridors and enjoying an entry gate with 4 ports: Durres, Vlora, Shengjin, Saranda. Albania’s strategic location and its liberal energy trade policies encourages exporting in order to meet the increasing demands.
The Tirana International Airport, Mother Theresa Airport, is the only operating airport in the country. It is situated about 18 km northwest of the capital city Tirana.
Passengers for 2012 : 1,665,331
Cargo for 2012 : 1,866
Mail for 2012 : 382
The national road network in Albania is about 18,000 km long including 3,636 km of national roads, 10,500 km of interurban roads, and the rest of 4,000 km is under the jurisdiction of autonomous units, enterprises or companies. The primary road network is about 1,138 km with nine main connections which made up the basis of the network. In relation to infrastructure, one of the largest projects was the completion of the highway Corridor connecting Durrës with Kukës and Morinë, also called “The Nation’s Road”. This important road, with a length of 170 km, connects the capital and the port of Durres, with the Kosovo.
In 2008, special attention was paid to regional cooperation in the context of road transport with neighboring countries such as Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Greece. During 2011 were reconstructed across the country 452 km of roads from which 132 km have been completed and 320 are in the process of conclusion. In 2011 began the reconstruction of many major roads, including: Highway Elbasan-Tirana, Librazhd-Qafë Thane, segment Lin-Pogradec etc.
The only Pan-European Transport Corridor crossing Albania is Corridor VIII, which is an energy and infrastructure axis connecting the Adriatic with the Black Sea through Italy, Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria, and linking Greece with Turkey. Albania has joined the Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of the South Eastern Europe Core Regional Transport Network. Together with the European Commission, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, Albania is committed to cooperate for enhancing the development of regional transport network in South Eastern Europe (SEE).
The railway network in Albania is composed of 441 km of primary railways and 230 km secondary railways. Main priority is the reactivation of the railway network through leverage of private capital and financing international institutions as well as various donors.
Sea transport in Albania is carried out through 4 ports: Durrës, Vlora, Saranda and Shengjini. The largest and the most important one is the Port of Durrës, which captures 81.8% of all the country’s maritime transport.
Albania has enormous potential for generating electricity through the utilization of water resources (hydro), wind, solar and biomass energy resources.
The public electricity production in 2011 was accomplished mainly by hydroelectric plants; 98.57% of total energy production was from HPP’s and only 1.42% from the TPP of Vlora. The total net production of electricity from generating public companies was 4,021,245 million kWh, while the production from private HPP’s was 136,831 million kWh.
Albanian telecommunications services includes fixed telephony and mobile telephony. The operator of fixed telephone is Albtelecom Sh.a., 76% of whose shares are owned by CETEL (Ankara), which is composed of one of the largest companies in Turkey, Calik Group 80% and Turk Telekom 20 percent. While the rest of the shares of 24% is owned by the Albanian government and other stakeholders.
In late 2011, the number of mobile phone subscribers reached approximately 5.2 million, which represents a penetration rate (number of users per 100 inhabitants) of 185%, a figure which is much higher than the level of 140% in 2010, or the average in the European Union countries by 124% in 2010.
The first mobile operator in Albania was launched in May 1996 by the Albanian Mobile Communication (AMC), which privatized 85%of total shares worth 85,600,000 euros through COSMOTE Telenor Consortium. The remainder 12.6% of state shares was privatized in March 2009 for a value of 48,200,000 euros. AMC has the highest number of employees in the telecommunications sector with over 500 specialized employees.
Licensed in 2001, Vodafone Albania was the second mobile operator in Albania. Vodafone’s GSM network covers 90.86% of the territory of Albania and the 99.6% Albanians in rural and urban areas.
Eagle Mobile, the third mobile operator in Albania, entered the market in October 2008. The company had an increase of 35% in the number of users from the year 2010 to year 2011.
In the year 2009, the fourth licensed mobile operator Plus Communication entered the Albanian market. This was a “joint venture” between several Albanian local companies and Kosovo Post Telecommunication. The company had an increase of 370 thousand users comparing to 2010.
According to data pertaining to the first half of 2010, 96 Internet providers are currently operating in Albania. Most of them are located in Tirana and other cities in western Albania. Internet is mainly offered through ADSL and the Hybrid Fiber-Coax. According to Electronic and Postal Communications Authority – (AKEP)data, with the increase of the broadband Internet users for the year 2011, their number reached 161,000. For the same period, the number of broadband lines per 100 inhabitants rose to around 6.2%, compared to 3.7% that was at the end of 2010.