The EBRD’s Board of Directors has approved a €150 million sovereign loan to the Republic of Serbia to finance the construction of a new motorway section in Serbia, E-80, along the strategic Corridor X.
Corridor X is one of the ten pan-European corridors and Serbia’s main transport route. It provides vital links to FYR Macedonia and Greece in the south and to Croatia, Hungary and Western Europe in the north.
The construction of the 90 km long motorway, running from Nis, Serbia’s third largest city in south east of the country, to Dimitrovgrad, on the border with Bulgaria, will allow Serbia to capitalise further on its location as a transit country for international traffic.
The first section of the E-80 motorway, 18 km from Nis to Prosek, has already been built. The EBRD loan will be used to finance the construction of the remaining sections of the new four lane motorway.
The motorway will be built on a new route, which includes interchanges with the existing road network. Like all Serbian motorways, the E-80 will be tolled.
With a total cost of approximately €795 million, the project is co-financed by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Republic of Serbia.
The project is complemented by grant funds from the EBRD Western Balkans Fund, which will be used to develop a plan for introducing the private sector into road toll collection and are being sought to assist with the preparation of the by-laws necessary for the implementation of the Roads Law in Serbia.
“Through this loan the EBRD reinforces its commitment to support the modernisation of transport infrastructure in Serbia. The construction of the E-80 motorway is a strategic project for Serbia and for the region. It will bring great benefits to Serbia in terms of trade facilitation and regional integration within the Balkans,” said Thomas Maier, EBRD Business Group Director for Transport.
Since the beginning of its operations in Serbia, the EBRD has committed over €1.6 billion to the Serbian economy, of which more than €610 million in the infrastructure sector.