Skopje, 9th July 2012 (MIA) – On Monday, the Government announced the official start of the reconstruction of the railway infrastructure along Corridor 10, by preparing project studies and design documentation for rail sections Kumanovo-Deljadrovce, Dracevo-Veles and Bitola-Kremenica. Project amounting to EUR 1.4 million is financed with EUR 1.24 million from the IPA Regional Development Component and EUR 200 thousand as Budget funds.
– Project is focused on preparing project studies and documentation for these corridors to the end of completing the entire documentation, by which Macedonia will have mature projects for further steps to contribute to full rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure, Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski said at today’s press conference.
According to him, the implementation of such projects in the railway infrastructure in Macedonia, being a strategic transportation point in the region, will reinforce the connections with neighbouring countries, as well as the flow of goods to and from Macedonia. Project, as he said, is also a confirmation that system’s institutions have sufficient capacity to implement projects in cooperation with the EU and to withdraw finances from IPA funds.
Funds for preparation of project documentation for these three rail sections amount to EUR 1.45 million, most of which, i.e. EUR 1.23 million is provided through IPA Regional Development Component, while the remaining EUR 200 thousand is provided from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia.
Realization of Bitola-Kremenica section will be a priority, which as the Minister said, is significant for development of Pelagonija region and connection with Greece. Reconstruction works are planned to start in 2013 for a period of 24 months. It is envisaged for the rehabilitation to cost around EUR 9 million, 8.6 million out of which will be again provided from the IPA Regional Development Component and the remaining EUR 400 thousand from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia.
According to Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, the preparation of the projects for rehabilitation of the railway connections along the two corridors is an overture to a large investment in the railway transportation.
– Starting 2014, Macedonia will begin implementing projects in the amount of EUR 22 million to be financed within the Operational Programme for Regional Development, and activities for the sector railways connected with the both railway Pan-European corridors in Macedonia are envisaged, Stavreski stated.
He added that what is important for these projects, having benefits to the citizens of Macedonia is reconstruction and modernization of the railways stations. Next month, tender is expected to be announced for the reconstruction of the railway station in Skopje amounting to EUR 2.7 million, while the works are expected to start next year. Next phase, as he added, is reconstruction of all railway stations along Corridor 10, which is expected to amount to around EUR 6 million.
– All railway stations being in the worst condition, and having need to be urgently renewed will be rehabilitated, thus the conditions for the citizens using the railway will be improved, Stavreski said.
Project, as Vice Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Vladimir Pesevski announced, will boost the capacity of Corridor 10, increase the movement speed, reduce the negative effects over the environment, improve the safety, increase the flow of international trade and cargo transport, and it will also contribute to improving the competitiveness of Corridor 10 in relation to Corridor 4. Corridor 10, he added is important for Macedonian since more than 90% of the trade is carried out therethrough.
EU Ambassador said at the press conference that the European Union has been investing in transport infrastructure, emphasizing that support to Macedonia’s transportation sector will remain a priority in future as well. According to him, the goal is to create a single transportation network that is essential in improving socio-economic conditions.
Railway Corridor 10 in Macedonian, being the basic element of the main transportation network – begins in Tabanovce border crossing in the north and ends with the southern border crossing in the vicinity in Gevgelija . Siding 10d within Corridor 10 starts in Veles and ends at the border crossing Kremenica in the vicinity of Bitola. As a result of the rehabilitation, the movement speed will increase from 120 to 160 kilometers per hour.
Major part of the railway infrastructure in Macedonia was not renovated in the last 30 years. In the past 10 years, 8 percentage of the infrastructure was rehabilitated. 20 years ago, 10 million of tones of goods per year were transported through Macedonian railways, while today, 3 to 4 million of tones are transported.