Upgrading of a 12 km section of the road from Smokvica to Gevgelija (near Greek border), forming part of Pan-European Corridor X, and the construction of the Skopje by-pass (Stage 2), forming part of Pan-European Corridor VIII.
The EBRD aims to support this road project for FYR Macedonia because of its importance in establishing international links for trade and commerce and its inclusion in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.
The project is expected to have an impact on the transition process by investigating:
- the structure and level of road user charges;
- funding for and institutional arrangements for road maintenance;
- development of a three-year Roads Plan.
The client would be the Fund for National and Regional Roads (FNRR), which is responsible to the FYR Macedonian Government for the administration and organisation of the main road network.
15-year sovereign loan of €40 million. The project will be co-financed with the European Investment Bank.
The total project cost is €148 million.
This project was screened A/0 although the environmental issues associated with one section of the project (the upgrading of the 12 km section of road from Smokvica to Gevgelija) will be covered by a B-level Environmental Analysis. The A-level Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out on the new Skopje by-pass, which will form part of Pan-European Corridor VIII. A scoping meeting related to the EIA was held in Skopje on 8 December 2000. In addition to the project sponsor and other government agencies involved in the project, the meeting was attended by representatives of CEE Bankwatch, the Ecological Union of Macedonia and the Regional Environment Centre. It was agreed at the meeting that the EIA would be based on the impact identified on an earlier EIA of the by-pass carried out on a specific alternative route, which was later rejected. It also gave particular attention to seismic and erosion issues as well as natural disasters, which are recognised as being particularly sensitive for the routing of the new by-pass. The EIA was made available to the public from 4 February 2002 and a public meeting was held to discuss its contents in April 2002. A this meeting representatives from two affected communities (Volkovo and Orman) and NGO’s, reacted to the chosen alignment and suggested that it should be changed for the following reasons:
- possible contamination of a water reservoir;
- proximity of the alignment to a local church and graveyard;
- loss and possible contamination of agricultural land;
- safety issues associated with proximity to a school; and the separation of two communities.
The Bank responded by appointing an Independent Review, to investigate these concerns, which concluded it was possible to mitigate, with the exception of the church where re-alignment was not possible. The environmental component of the project has been enhanced to include: (a) a revised Environmental Management Plan (EMP); (b) an environmental monitor; and (c) an Environmental Monitoring and Advisory Group, with the latter comprising representatives from the affected communities and NGO’s.
There is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available for this project.
TC funding has been provided for:
- updating of Feasibility Study for the Pan European Corridor X – French Trust Funds
- updating of the Feasibility Study for the Skopje By-pass – Taiwanese Funds
- an Institutional Study, including road financing – UK government.
TC funding will be provided for:
- Lenders Monitoring Adviser – French Trust Funds
- Assistance with Institutional Strategy and Road Planning – Central European Initiative or other grant sourced.
- Environmental Monitor – United States Trade and Development Agency or other grant sources.
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