The Albanian
ministry of energy and industry and the Italian government represented by the
Italian ambassador to Tirana Massimo Gaiani signed on Thursday a 16.5 million euro
(about 18.2 million U.S. dollars) agreement on behalf of a “Memorandum of
Cooperation” for the energy sector.

The grant
comes as the last part of this memorandum reached between the two governments
last year.

The agreement
was signed by Albanian minister of energy and industry Damian Gjiknuri and the Italian
ambassador to Tirana, Massimo Gaiani while present in the ceremony were also
the chairmen of Albanian Transmission System Operator (OST) and Albanian Operator
of Electricity Distribution (OSHEE).

This grant
will be invested in the transmission and distribution system of the electrical
energy while it aims the increase of efficiency in this sector and conclusion
within the deadline of the new dispatcher center of OST.

The Albanian
minister of energy and industry stressed the importance of the support from the
Italian government in the implementation of several projects in the electrical
energy sector in the country.

“We
will invest in Himara and Saranda cities in the transmission and distribution
systems, in order to improve the network in these touristic areas,” the
minister was quoted by Albanian daily news as saying.

On
his part, Gaiani declared that “With this grant we enclose projects which we
started several years ago, at a total worth of 93 million euros.”

This
grant will empower the energy potential in Albanian southern areas and will
expand the data control system in all substations 110 KV.

“These
two projects will make the electrical energy system more reliable and
integrated with the European one,” the Italian ambassador said.

He
added that this financing represents the completion of the technical aspects
for the projects that will be realized by Italian embassy, ministry of energy
and industry, OST and OSHEE. (1 euro = 1.10 U.S. dollars)