UKT, Tirana’s water company, is playing a key role preparing the country for EU membership. Under new management for the past 18 months, UKT has been making significant progress. It has rebuilt its water transmission system, increased the capacity of its water reservoirs by 8,500 cubic metres and installed new water pressure metres, and it is in the process of installing 30,000 water metres to better monitor water supplies and usage. UKT has also invested significantly in employee training and salaries and has implemented new ICT systems to enhance customer service.
Current priorities for UKT include boosting Albania’s water supplies, assessing the needs of communities throughout the country to provide adequate water for all, enhancing processes for ensuring clean drinking water, investigating new water sources, and upgrading equipment and machinery. “UKT has taken a very proactive approach,” explains CEO Sahit Dollapi.
Major projects currently underway
One of UKT’s projects is to expand Bovilla’s plumbing system to increase its accumulative and generative capacity by 30,000 cubic metres and equip it with a new supply chain system. UKT would also like to build a ring system around Tirana to streamline users’ access to water supplies. Sahit Dollapi points out, “These two investments combined will total around €48 million. We are investing €9 million of our own capital in our current projects, including the construction of transmission and distributive lines for running and drinking water in six informal regions, inhabited by houses and private businesses.”
While UKT is a public company, it is run like a private enterprise. Sahit Dollapi says, “A unique aspect of UKT is that, despite being officially regarded as a state owned company, we are open to all joint venture opportunities and are able to work as if we were privately held and owned. We are currently capitalising on our profits by pursuing an aggressive policy of investments in physical capacity, increasing employee salaries, and exploring our territories.”