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Cablegate: Delays in the Albanian Chemical Weapons

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTI #0747 1951327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADF50242 UTS1877 538)
P 141327Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY TIRANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4560
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0682
RUEAADN/DTRA DULLES WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 1200
RUEASWA/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TIRANA 000747

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y ("THE HAGUE" ADDRESS ADDED)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/SCE (BENEDICT, SAINZ) EUR/PRA, ISN/CB
(FERGUSON), ISN/NDF (PAULSON), THE HAGUE FOR CW DEL
(ROBINSON), OSD FOR CTR POLICY (CHAPMAN), DTRA (DAWN BROWN,
PATRICK CHRISTIAN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MASS MOPS PARM PREL SENV AL
SUBJECT: DELAYS IN THE ALBANIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS
ELIMINATION PROGRAM

REF: TIRANA 00376

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Preparations for the Albanian Chemical
Weapons Elimination Program have been delayed due to damage
sustained during testing of the destruction equipment and
required modifications to the system. The delays have
resulted in the postponement of the start of operations at
the destruction facility until October 2006. Full completion
of the destruction of the chemical agents by April 29, 2007
is still predicted. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) The proposed start of operations for the
destruction of Albania's stockpile of chemical weapons,
scheduled to have begun in July 2006, has been deferred due
to delays in the delivery of the Eisenmann Thermal Treatment
System (ETTS). During tests of the ETTS in Stuttgart,
Germany, in April, the incineration equipment to be used in
the Albanian CW destruction was damaged. The damage was
caused by excess heat and pressure buildup encountered due to
operator error, which prevented cooling water from reaching
the combustion gas quench system. Modifications to the ETTS
are being made at the Eisenmann facility to minimize the
possibility of a repeat occurrence.

3. (SBU) Albania's MOD, in consultation with Department of
Defense, has decided to adjust the destruction schedule. To
make up for lost time and avoid increased funding costs with
further testing in the Eisenmann facility in Germany, it has
been decided to proceed with the delivery of the ETTS to
Albania starting late June 2006. Further modification and
testing will take place once the destruction equipment has
been set up at the site.

4. (SBU) The Technical Secretariat (TS), Organization of
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has been officially notified
by the Albanian MOD for the postponement and rescheduling of
the treaty milestones required under the Chemical Weapons
Convention (CWC). The most significant is the rescheduling of
the Final Engineering Review (FER), during which the TS will
confirm the adequacy of planned verification measures. The
FER was originally set for late June 2006, but now is
expected to occur at the end of September 2006. Destruction
operations are expected to begin in mid-October 2006.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: Even with the delay of the start-up of
destruction operations at the facility, it is anticipated
that the CWC deadline of April 29, 2007 for complete
destruction of the chemical agents will be met.
RIES

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