The European Commission released Albania 2022 Progress Report in October 2022 , where under Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Changes further efforts by government are expected. The implementation of the water reform and new national strategy of water sector 2021- 2030 are identified as main topics in this report and an advance for the institutional development of AKUM is emphasized.
The key stakeholders of the water sector in Albania gathered at the 4th meeting of the working group for result 3 – National Sludge Management Strategy on 18 October 2022 in Tirana International Hotel.
NIPS experts shared for the working group the sludge quantities that are expected to be produced and WWTP classes and construction planning periods (2030, 2040, 2050). There are 8 Sludge Management Regions (SMRs) proposed to be covering the country at national level.
55.6% of the total sludge produced at the national level is expected to be produced by Tirana – Durrës SRM by year 2050
There are 14 existing Water Waste Treatment Plants (WWTP) in country. Until year 2050 is forecasted to be constructed 114 WWTPs, where 80 of WWTPs are planned as very small and small and many of them in rural and/or mountainous regions
Further, the NIPS experts presented to the participants several scenarios of sludge disposal and use options in short, medium and long terms. Pros and cons of any scenario were discussed considering the financial and human capacities of Albanian Government and legal, institutional and administrative constraints and challenges. A time frame of facilities solutions is to be prepared and be used are proposed; from landfills operating as present day toward agriculture use, co-combustion in cement companies and finalizing with sludge mono-incineration by 2050.
The draft National Sludge Strategy will be presented by NIPS to all key stakeholders by beginning of December of this year. Following a consultation period it is expected to be finalised and approved by January 2023
The working group participants represented the National Agency of Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Infrastructure (AKUM), Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy (MoIE), Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MoTE), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), National Environment Agency (NEA), Water Supply Sector Regulatory Authority (ERRU), Agency for the Management of Water Resources (AMBU) and NIPS Project.