EBRD invests in infrastructure and transport in Romania

By Viktorija Melohina

Sibiu, a medieval city in the central Romanian region of Transylvania, is a major trade and tourism hub. Over the past 10 years it has seen a significant infrastructure investment. Of this funding over €40 million were granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), for projects such as the rehabilitation of public roads and water systems.

As part of wider infrastructure development plan, a new long-term loan of €4.8 million to S.C. TURSIB S.A, a public transport company owned by the city, will help to relocate the bus depot from its current site in the city centre. The relocation is necessary as the city has revised its urban transport strategy, resulting in the re-routing of the bus fleet to meet public demand. As part of a new depot's construction, modernisation of maintenance services will take place, which will bring running costs and noise levels down, and reduce the environmental impact.

Tourism has been a key economic driver in the city’s development, especially, since Sibiu was named “Cultural Capital of Europe” in 2007. Further development of its infrastructure, such as upgrading transport links, will help the city to capitalise on its success and attract more visitors.

“The EBRD is pleased to work once again with the municipality of Sibiu and with TURSIB. The city demonstrates how infrastructure development can boost the attractiveness of a regional hub and sustain its dynamism”, commented Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure Director.

"TURSIB and the City of Sibiu have found a real partner in the EBRD; together we have many successful projects which we carried out during the past nine years. The construction of a new bus depot located in a more appropriate area in Sibiu from the environmental perspective is an extremely important project for TURSIB, the local public transportation company in Sibiu, which thus continues its upgrading process.”, said Mayor of the city of Sibiu, Klaus Iohannis.

TURSIB operates 90 buses, 35 of which were purchased following the first loan of € 5 million from the EBRD. The company manages 23 bus routes with 34 million passengers’ turnover per annum.

Since the start of its operations in the country the EBRD has invested approximately €6.7 billion across 360 projects in Romania. The Bank has further mobilised over €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.