Albania signs memorandum of understanding with AMBO
Mustafa Muci, Albania's public economy and privatisation minister, signed a memorandum of understanding with the
Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil Pipeline Corporation (AMBO) during a visit to the United States.
That MOU states that AMBO will be the only party allowed to build the planned Burgas-Vlore oil pipeline. More specifically, it gives AMBO the exclusive right to negotiate with investors in and creditors of the project. It also obligates Tirana not to disclose certain confidential information on the pipeline project.
Muci's signing of the MOU marks the completion of AMBO's drive to secure exclusive rights to the project; a source close to the company noted that similar agreements have already been struck with the governments of Bulgaria and Macedonia. Indeed, the source said, the MOUs signed with all three countries are new versions of previously signed documents that have been revised to reflect the findings of a study carried out with funding from the US Trade and Development Agency (TDA).
AMBO's next move will be to seek $ 1.13 bn in funding for the project. The group is planning to build a 913 km
pipeline from Burgas, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, to the Albanian port of Vlore, on the Adriatic. The 36-inch
pipeline would be used to ship Russian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh and Turkmen oil transported across the Black Sea on to
the markets of Western Europe and North America. It has a target capacity for financing purposes of 750,000 bpd of
oil (35 mm tpy).
The trans-Balkan pipeline is also part of the Transport Corridor #8 plan, which has been sanctioned by the European Union's Council of Transport Ministers. Corridor #8 will include a highway, railroad, gas pipeline and fibre-optic telecommunications line as well as AMBO's oil pipeline.