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EBRD provides loan for modernisation of Belgrade airport

By Olga Rosca

Up to €72 million EBRD loan and €110 million syndicated loan as part of wider financial package.

  • Up to €72 million EBRD loan and €110 million syndicated loan as part of wider financial package
  • VINCI Airports Serbia becomes concessionaire under PPP structure
  • Investment to transform Nikola Tesla Airport into a regional hub.

Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport will be transformed into a modern transport hub serving Serbia and the region thanks to a massive investment programme to which the EBRD is contributing a loan of up to €72 million for its own account and arranging a syndicated loan of €110 million for the account of participants.

The EBRD financing will be part of a wider package including the World Bank sister organisation IFC, the French development agency Proparco, Germany’s equivalent DEG and the commercial lenders Banca IMI, Unicredit, Erste Group, Kommunalkredit, CIC and Société Générale.

The total investment amount is close to €1 billion and will be mobilised by VINCI Airport Serbia d.o.o. as concessionaire for the airport.

VINCI won a competitive tender for the concession of the Nikola Tesla Airport in January 2018 and has committed to its full-scale modernisation. This includes refurbishment of the passenger terminal building, capacity expansion and overall improvement of services and facilities. While the programme will increase the airport’s capacity, the modernisation will make operations more environmentally friendly.

The concession to VINCI Airports Serbia d.o.o., a subsidiary of VINCI Airports SAS, was awarded for a period of 25 years under a public-private-partnership (PPP) structure which is performance-based and departs from traditional public procurement funded by upfront budget funds. The landmark project is the first large-scale infrastructure concession in Serbia.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is Serbia’s largest airport and in 2017 total passenger traffic was 5.34 million and cargo traffic over 19,750 tonnes. The investment and modernisation programme aims at increasing the airport’s role in the region.

Sue Barrett, EBRD Director, Head of Transport, said: “This is Serbia’s first large infrastructure concession and we are delighted to support its financing, together with other international partners. The competitive, transparent and sound process which is at the heart of this project will also be the foundation of its success.”

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Director, Regional Head of Western Balkans, added: ”This is a landmark project for Serbia and we are proud, as a long-standing promoter of PPP structures mobilising private sector investments and financing for infrastructure, to provide our financing as part of our wide-reaching range of investments in the country.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 230 projects in the country to date. Investing in infrastructure to boost connectivity is one of the Bank’s priorities for Serbia and the wider Western Balkans region.

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