Additional €20 million in EU grants for Corridor Vc in BiH

By Bojana Vlajcic

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Autoceste BiH

  • Grants to finance construction of Buna-Pocitelj and tunnel Zenica-Donja Gracanica sections
  • Funds to complement previously extended €80 million EBRD loan
  • Total amount of EU grants complementing EBRD loans reaches €145 million

The construction of Corridor Vc, the key infrastructure project the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) supports in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is progressing with new financing from the European Union (EU).

A new €20.7 million grant provided by the EU will support the completion of the construction works on two sections: Buna-Pocitelj and tunnel Zenica-Donja Gracanica. Of the total amount, €15.5 million is an investment grant and will finance construction works, while the balance will finance technical assistance.

In addition to building modern transport infrastructure the project also contributes to improving the road safety in the country by achieving three-star safety standard by the International Road Assessment Program - one of the first projects in the region to receive it. The project also enhances the sustainability of motorway construction and management, as well as procurement procedures in the public motorway company.

The grant funds have been secured through the EU-supported Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which aims to help improve the region’s connectivity by building new transport links and upgrading outdated transport and environmental infrastructure.

The grants complement an €80 million loan previously extended by the EBRD for the construction of the two sections. To date, the EBRD has invested €844 million for the construction of Corridor Vc, while the EU has provided over €145 milionin grant co-financing for the same sections.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We would like to thank the EU, our key partner in this project, for this fresh financing. Large-scale infrastructure investments such as Corridor Vc require significant investments and EU grants are important in making them affordable. We are encouraged by the progress of the construction process and we look forward to celebrating the completion of works on a both sections later this year”.

The development of Corridor Vc is a strategic priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 325 km motorway will cross the country from the border with Croatia near port of Ploce in the south to the border with Croatia in the north, contributing towards faster economic and social development. It is currently the biggest construction project in the country. It is estimated to cost approximately €3.7 billion.

Alongside the EBRD and EIB, the largest contributor to the project is the EU through the WBIF. Other co-financiers of Corridor Vc include the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Kuwait Fund.

Investing in infrastructure is one of EBRD’s priorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since it began operations in the country in 1996, the EBRD has invested more than €2.7 billion in 191 projects in the country.

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