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Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

 Law on the Construction and Maintenance of the Milot-Balldre highway - Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

 Law on the Construction and Maintenance of the Milot-Balldre highway

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Introduction

In 2018, the company A.N.K. SHPK submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government of Albania for the construction of the Milot–Balldre highway (see here). In June 2018, Council of Ministers Decision No. 387 awarded a bonus of 8.5 per cent more points to the company under the tendering procedure. In October of the same year, the Ministry of Infrastructure announced that a 13-year concession had been awarded to A.N.K SHPK for the construction of the 17.2-km Milot-Balldre highway (see here). Law No. 52 was passed in July 2019 specifically for this purpose.

Country
Albania
Sector
Construction and urbanism
Type of Law
Capturing a market, an industry or public resources

Description of the law

In 2018, the company A.N.K. SHPK submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government of Albania for the construction of the Milot–Balldre highway (see here). In June 2018, Council of Ministers Decision No. 387 awarded a bonus of 8.5 per cent more points to the company under the tendering procedure. In October of the same year, the Ministry of Infrastructure announced that a 13-year concession had been awarded to A.N.K SHPK for the construction of the 17.2-km Milot-Balldre highway (see here). Law No. 52 was passed in July 2019 specifically for this purpose.

As per the final contract, which was approved by Law No. 52/2019, the company will charge €256 million (€15 million per km) for the job, more than twice the amount that the government of Albania had envisaged for the construction of the road in its Transport Sector Strategy 2016–2020 (see here and here).

Still, the government allocated an extra €44 million to the project in its mid-term budget plan, increasing the total cost to nearly €300 million. The State Supreme Audit Institution of Albania (ALSAI) revealed an artificial increase in the costs of the project created by qualifying the project as a “highway” instead of an “interurban road” with a consequent increase in the price from €61.5 million to €140 million in the feasibility study (see here).

A.N.K. SHPK is closely connected to the ruling Socialist Party (SP) because it was founded in 1998 by Ndue Kola, an MP for the Socialist Party from 2009 to 2013. In 2009, the company was sold to Kola’s brother, Agim Kola, who is also closely connected to the SP government (see here). The company’s close ties with the ruling party make the deal look problematic.