40.60083333333319.736388888889197Koordinaten: 40 ° 36 'N, 19 ° 44'

Ballsh ( Albanian: Ballshi ) is a small town in south-central Albania with 7657 inhabitants ( 2011). Located in the municipality Mallakastra the transition from Myzeqe level into südalbanische hills, 20 kilometers southeast of Fier. Ballsh is the center of oil production in Albania and owns the largest refinery in the country. As a supply center for the region good shopping facilities are available.

The most important trunk road by Southern Albania is through the village. The passenger service on the branch line of Fier after Ballsh was closed in 2000, it operate freight trains to the nearby refinery.

The local football club KS Bylis Ballsh plays in the top league.


Middle of the 4th century BC Illyrians founded on a hilltop a town, later Byllis, which was surrounded by a fortification wall to the main town of the Illyrerstammes Byllionen. From the middle of the 2nd century BC it belonged to the former name of Colonia Byllidensium the Roman province of Macedonia. In Ballsh Although Roman columns remains were found, the settlement Ballsh five kilometers north of Byllis and away from the highways is not saved in Roman times. The last heyday of Byllis n was in the 6th century BC under the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.. It must have been an important Christian center, because in a dozen smaller communities within a radius of five to ten kilometers around Byllis remains were of early Christian discovered basilicas.

In Ballsh (then Baletium ) the foundations of a three-aisled basilica were uncovered from the beginning of the 6th century on the main road in the village. They found floor tiles made ​​of marble from the Greek island of Evia and columns of Egyptian granite.

Byllis was not established 586 AD after a devastating incident Slavs. It was then abandoned, the residents and the Bishop moved to Ballsh. Byllis was looted, stone remnants can be found as a building material in Ballsh again. In the 11th or 12th century the spaces between the rows of columns were walled in the basilica. After excavation results, it must have been in the Middle Ages, a monastery in Ballsh. In fact, a monastery of Saint Demetrius in 1219 now known as Glavinitza place mentioned. In the 14th century the place is listed as a bishop 's seat, a German bishop from 1351 to 1357 for a visit.

Among the rulers of this territory years and up to the time of Scanderbeg in the 15th century also won the family clan of Ballshas important. Their sphere of influence extended far beyond the Mallakastra - region and beyond.


To Ballsh are five oil reservoirs. The largest oil field in Albania, Marinza at Patos, a few kilometers north of the city, was discovered in 1957. Even closer is the only discovered in 1966, oil field Ballsh. The refinery in Ballsh has a theoretical processing capacity of 1 million tons of crude oil per year, the only other refinery in Fier of 0.5 million tonnes. These quantities were reached only in 1980, in 2000 there were in Ballsh 300,000 tons, which is less than one-third of capacity. In 2005, the total production of 382,000 tons only in the country.

Reasons for the low production quantities are even outdated production methods and other outdated systems for processing. The refinery Ballsh was built in 1978 with a technology from the 1960s.

2006 resolved the now privatized operating company ARMO, € 2.6 million to invest in a new piece of equipment. A further charge of drilling company that was spun out of state Albanian Petroleum Corporation (APC ) in 1999, which also privatized Servcom. Then there is the far more state-owned Albpetrol, undertaken by the extraction of crude oil.

Environmental problems

The produced in Ballsh diesel and petrol is cheaper than imported fuel for the end user. Reason is the poor quality due to high sulfur content. This is where funded in the area of crude oil 6%. However, most of the sulfur escapes with the liberated in promoting natural gas into the air.

Sustainable is the pollution of soils in the region. Depending on the study 5-7% technical losses are presented. This amount of crude oil disappears in promoting, through leaks in transport lines, at the refinery and storage. At risk is the drinking water supply to Ballsh, and by insufficient clarification of refinery effluents and the river Gjanica. This drives up oil debris in the Adriatic Sea.

Joint ventures with companies in the UK, Canada and Germany have the problems can not tackle the cause.