Source: Politika | Friday, 23.12.2022.| 11:43
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EUR 2.2 Billion for Southern Railway – Agreement to Be Signed in Late January or Early February

Illustration (Photo: bibiphoto/shutterstock)
According to the findings of the Politika daily, the European Union will provide a grant of EUR 598 million for the reconstruction of the railway between Belgrade and Nis, on which, in a few years, trains will run at 200 km/h. That is also the biggest individual grant for a project that Serbia has received from the EU so far. It is an EU grant through the Western Balkans Investment Framework. Additionally, the European Investment Bank (EIB), as the leading financier, will provide EUR 1.1 billion for this railway, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has set aside EUR 550 million. The agreement on the construction of the railway, which will cost around EUR 2.2 billion, as Politika learns, will be signed at the end of January or the beginning of February, instead of December 22, as was previously announced.

The EIB emphasizes that this pertains to the modernization of the Belgrade-Nis railway in the length of around 230 kilometers, which is part of the Orient-East Mediterranean corridor of the expanded core of the Trans-European Transport Network. The project is part of the initiative of Team Europe and is the principal project of the new EU Global Gateway strategy, whose aim is to mobilize up to EUR 300 billion in public and private investments for the development of global infrastructure. This will accelerate the realization of the ambitious economic and investment plan of the EU for the Western Balkans.

– In the first year, the project is expected to benefit over 2.3 million passengers a year and support 9.4 million tons of cargo, which will also enable a gradual switching to rail transport as a more efficient and environmentally friendly form of transport – says the EIB. As announced by the EU Delegation to Serbia several days ago, the EU has greenlighted the financing of the Paracin-Medjurovo section on the Belgrade-Nis railway with a grant of EUR 175.9 million from the WBIF. The amount of the previous EU grants is EUR 6.3 million the EIB loan is 188.3 million and the EBRD credit is 76.9 million. This investment project entails the construction of a two-track railway of 48.3 kilometers, including the electrification, signalization and the telecommunications system, on the rail Corridor 10 in Serbia for speeds up to 200 km/h. This is the second confirmation that the EU has given for the same Corridor, following the approval of a grant of EUR 83.4 million for the Stalac-Djunis section.

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