Emre Tokmak, Vice President of Tasyapi – Construction of Belgrade-Sarajevo Highway Among Biggest Infrastructure Projects in This Part of Europe
Emre Tokmak (Photo: Tasyapi)
The Belgrade-Sarajevo highway is one of the largest infrastructure projects in this part of Europe. The construction of the Kuzmin-Sremska Raca section has been entrusted to the Turkish company Tasyapi. The vice president of the company, Emre Tokmak, reveals in his interview for eKapija what the biggest construction challenges within the project are, what the value of the project is, and he also talks about the importance of the highway when it comes to the connecting and attracting new investments.
Tasyapi is designing and building the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in construction terms?
– Since, at the moment, the Kuzmin-Sremska Raca has been agreed in contractor terms, we could only talk about the complexities and challenges we are facing on this route of the highway. Considering the relief of this region, we can say that the most challenging part will be the bridge on the Sava of close to 1,300 meters. The project for a part of the bridge has been completed and the building permit has been obtained, whereas, for the remaining part, the project and the construction permit are expected soon. Parallel with this, our workers are intensively working on building the bridge, which is noticeable on site. It should also be noted that the Sava is a demanding river and that there are two different legal jurisdictions. Thousands of tons of steel need to be built into the bridge and the design is pretty complex accordingly. We should also note that this part of the highway is designed as a classic highway profile with two driving lanes and one emergency lane in each direction, and with a central division zone, for a speed of up to 130 km/h.
Construction of the bridge on the Sava (Photo: Tasyapi)
What is the rough value of the whole project?
– It is difficult to estimate the total value of the project at this phase, because it is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in this part of Europe, because it is accompanied by geological explorations, designing activities and, in parts, parallel construction. We assume that the total value of the whole project, both in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, will be around EUR 4 billion. The indicative value of the Kuzmin-Sremska Raca section is EUR 250 million.
In your opinion, how important will the construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway be for the regional connecting, but also for attracting new investments?
– This project has a unique importance for the development of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also the region itself. It creates a unique opportunity for improving the business operations in both states through the development of local and foreign investments, it enables a faster flow of people and goods, which will further influence the economic development. In the past, the Balkan region faced serious common problems and we are convinced that the construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway will enable a better and safer life for the citizens of both states, but also a better connectivity within the region. As a company, Tasyapi is proud to be a representative of the Turkish construction industry in this peace project, through designing and building this extremely important project.
Tasyapi is also involved in the reconstruction of the Novi Pazar-Tutin state road. How far have the works progressed?
– This is a project of special importance for the citizens and the economy of that part of Serbia. In this case, our engagement entails the preparation of the Detailed Regulation Plan, the design and the execution of the reconstruction of a II-A grade state road. The project itself is very complex and challenging, but we can say that the works are progressing at a good pace and that our staff and machines are employed full time on this project, so that we would finish the job on time. It is also important to note that the works do not interfere with the everyday life in Novi Pazar, Tutin and the surrounding places.
Construction of apartments in Vranje (Photo: Tasyapi)
In Vranje and Nis, you started building residential facilities for members of the security forces of Serbia. How far have the works progressed and how many apartments will be built?
– We are happy to be able to say that the construction of the residential facilities for members of the security forces of the Republic of Serbia in Vranje has been successfully completed. We built four residential buildings with a total of 186 apartments for members of the security forces. We want to emphasize that we are currently working on the construction of five residential buildings in Nis, also for members of the security forces of Serbia, which will have a total of 190 apartments. Certain problems with the leftover mines and explosive devices have slightly slowed down the realization of this project, so we expect the works to be completed in 2021.
The COVID-19 virus has jeopardized economic stability worldwide. How important is it in such situations for companies to be socially responsible? Tasyapi has had a range of humanitarian activities in the past period.
– Social responsibility is one of the most important segments of our corporate culture. We believe that it is especially important for companies to show humanity to the society as a whole, and especially to those that are the most vulnerable, in extraordinary circumstances such as the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Tasyapi is very active in the field of humanitarian activities. In the past year, we have donated considerable amounts of medical equipment to help fight COVID-19. Among other things, we have donated 65 beds for intensive care, 75 anti-decubitus mattresses, 6 aspirators, more than 500 sets of sheets, over 600 pairs of shoes for the hospital staff, 5,000 COVID-19 tests and many other things. Donations have also been made to the Clinical-Hospital “Dr Dragisa Misovic”-Dedinje, the General Hospital in Novi Pazar and the Institute for Public Health of Republika Srpska. Tasyapi will certainly continue its humanitarian activities, to the benefit of those who need help the most.
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