August 21, 2012

EBRD to fund Macedonia – Bulgaria link

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THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to provide Macedonia's Public Enterprise for Railway Infrastructure with a €46.4m 15-year loan to fund the rebuilding of the 30.8km Kumanovo – Beljakovce line, the first phase of a project to establish a direct rail link between Skopje and Sofia.

In addition, the loan includes €2.5m to help Macedonia advance the second phase of the project, which will extend the line east from Beljakovce to Kriva Palanka. Tender documentation is expected to be finalised for this section by the end of next year. The third and final phase will take the line over the border into Bulgaria, where it will join the Gyueshevo – Radomir line.

The railway will form part of Trans-European Corridor 8, and will provide Macedonia with a shorter rail route to Bulgaria's Black Sea ports of Burgas and Varna.

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