Improving traffic infrastructure is one of the priorities of the new Serbian Government. As announced from the competent ministry, during their term Corridor 10 will be completed, as well as a highway from Obrenovac to Cacak, on Corridor 11, while many other construction sites will also be opened. The modes of financing them will be set in accordance with the economic capacities of the state. The report of Ranka Pavlovic.
The biggest support to Serbia in financing traffic projects comes from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. After the recent talks with their representatives, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic announced that more than 2,300 kilometers of roads will be rehabilitated in 83 sections. This program, worth approximately 500 million dollars, will help works on Corridor 10 and increase the safety of traffic in the country. For the renovation of railroads on Corridor 10, the Serbian Railways Company has called a public invitation, and the EBRD, which should finance that project, has assessed that the reconstruction of 112 kilometers of rails costs 100 million euros. Under way are negotiations on a Russian loan of 800 million dollars, and some of those assets are aimed at the reconstruction of six sections on this railway corridor.
With regards to Corridor 11, which should connect the Romanian city of Timisoara with the port of Bar in Montenegro, the construction of certain sections is already ongoing. Chinese company “Roads and Bridges”, which is also building a bridge across the Danube in Belgrade, has offered to invest 2.5 billion euros in the construction of a highway form Belgrade to Montenegro. All kinds of financing are acceptable to the Chinese – from classic loans, through concessions to public-private partnership. The official offer has been submitted to the company “Serbian Corridors”, and passed to the Ministry of Traffic, and it relates to the building of 270 kilometers of road. Besides this company, other state enterprises and banks from China are interested in this job as well.
Spanish company FCC has expressed interest in two sections – from Obrenovac to Ub, and from Lajkovac to Ljig, in the total length of 50 kilometers. Relating to that, Serbia has already got a credit from Azerbaijan, amounting to 300 million euros, for the construction of a highway from Ljig to Preljina, near Cacak. The Ministry of Finance has already earmarked intervention assets for the expropriation of land, so that the Azerbaijanis could work without obstacles. The Oil Industry of Serbia has been offered to consider buying all the locations for gas stations along a future highway to Montenegro, and this money would be then used for expropriation. It could cover up to 70% of the expenses. It was also suggested to open a public call for all who would like to build hotels, motels and restaurants, so that the locations be reserved and money directed at further works on that traffic line.
The construction of another corridor has attracted public attention these days. At issue is the sailing canal Danube-Morava-Vardar, which could shorten the connection from the North Europe to the Aegean Sea by 1,200 kilometers. The project is worth 17 billion dollars, and the full project could be finished in eight years. Experts believe it would also solve the problem of droughts and floods, thus enabling a three-fold increase in agricultural production. Moreover, several hydro power plants could be built on that line, up to 400 megawatts of power. The idea for this project has been around for a few decades, but the time for its realization may have come.