Water Negotiations and Investment Planning Support- 'NIPS' Project

Agglomerations/ Water Supply Zones

Status of Task

Scope and expected results of Task 3

The scope of Result 3 is the development of a national sludge management strategy. In respect of this the following key tasks from the ToR have been completed:

  • Summarise the legal and institutional framework for sludge management.
  • Assess sludge generation, quality and management at existing waste-water treatment plants (WWTPs) and evaluate sludge production estimates and management strategies prepared for the WWTPs currently in planning and under construction.
  • Assess methods of sludge treatment, use and disposal employed in other Member States for their suitability in Albania.
  • Identify, evaluate and assess sludge use and disposal options in each region
  • Develop a methodology for calculating investment costs for the implementation of the NSMS as well as for the relevant chapters of the DSIP-UWWTD
  • Develop possible business models and the basic principles underlying them
  • Develop and harmonise the implementation plan with the DSIP-UWWTD
  • Prepare a  Guidance Document for the implementation

Challenges in the legal and institutional setup

Two particularly critical weaknesses of the present system have been identified:

  • Current legislation in force in Albania does not require the development of a dedicated strategy document on sludge. Therefore, if it is the intention that a National Sludge Management Strategy should be legally binding in whole or in part, the legal basis for this would need to be enacted. This needs to be given priority because the handling of sewage sludge is a necessary aspect of implementation planning for the UWWTD and in particular for Article 14 thereof.
  • Regulation, permitting and enforcement are very weak. This needs to be addressed as a priority, in order to give EU negotiators confidence that Albania is capable of regulating properly the handling of sewage sludge and reporting reliably to the EU on implementation progress.

Implementation and completion of Task 3

  • Those tasks and topics not depending on the final report on Task 1 (Agglomerations / Water Supply Zones) were compiled into a preliminary report and delivered on 12th November 2022 to AKUM. (see document in the password protected section ‘Working Documents’)
  • Subsequently the NSMS has been revised and all Chapters have been amended according to the comments received by the WG Members and SIDA Monitoring Team. The work of revision to the NSMS was completed by Mid of March 2023, and the consolidated version of the NSMS has been submitted to the WG Members and the SIDA Monitoring Team on the 21st of March 2023.)
  • The report was approved by AKUM in April 2023 (see document in the password protected section ‘Working Documents’)

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