Skopje, 20th September 2011 (MIA) – The financial scheme for construction of Demir Kapija – Smokvica motorway section of Corridor X is completed. Funds in the amount of EUR 107 million are provided with today’s signed Agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Loan Agreement was signed by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski and EBRD Director for Transport Sue Barrett.
Total investment for construction of this motorway section is EUR 271 million, EUR 130 million out of which are provided by the European Investment Bank, EUR 45 million is IPA grant of the European Union and EUR 6 million is provided from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia.
– Construction of the 28 km-long motorway section will provide motorway design of this most significant transport route in Macedonia. It is a matter of Corridor connecting Macedonia with Europe in the north and the Thessaloniki port in the south, being important for our economy and exceptional possibility to both accelerate the flow of goods and people and increase the competitive ability of Macedonian companies, Minister Stavreski pointed out during the Agreement signing ceremony.
Loan is provided under exceptionally favorable conditions, with 15-year repayment period, 3-year grace period and interest rate amounting to around 2.7% at present. The loan will be repaid with funds from the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia and the Project will be implemented by the Agency for State Roads, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Operating Structure within the Ministry of Finance.
EBRD by supporting this Project, Minister said, showed once again that the Bank perhaps becomes the most significant partner of the Republic of Macedonia in the realization of major important infrastructure projects. He added that the dynamics of the Bank support and the approval of new credits in the last one, two years is significantly intensified and that support for new projects such as gasification and construction of the railroad tracks is also expected.
– We are convinced that by having EBRD as partner, we will succeed to realize this Project in fast and efficient manner, thus completing the motorway on Corridor X, Stavreski pointed out.
According to EBRD Director for Transport Sue Barrett, by involving in the realization of this Project, the Bank continues to cooperate with the Government on road maintenance –related reforms.
– This is the seventh transport project of EBRD in Macedonia, by which the total lending in the transportation sector amount to EUR 250 million, Berrett pointed out, adding that discussions are being held for support of other infrastructure projects as well, such as gasification, energy, as well as projects in the private sector.
EUR 90 million out of the total EUR 107 million of the EBRD loan, are intended for construction of Demir Kapija-Smokvica motorway section, while EUR 17 million are aimed at modernizing the existing toll stations on Corridor X and construction of four new ones. As for this Project, EBRD extended additional EUR 650 thousand as technical assistance.
Construction of the motorway, as the Director of the Agency for State Roads Natasa Valkanovska, signing the Agreement on Project Implementation announced, will start in the middle of next year and it should be completed in five years, while the modernization of the toll stations will start in the middle of next year and it should be completed in three years.
Domestic companies may participate in the tender of this motorway section, however, due to the announced rules, they can do this only if merged in a consortium, Vice Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Vladimir Pesevski said, pointing out that effort for changing the criteria will be made, but only if does not postpone the deadlines.
So far, EBRD has invested over EUR 715 million in Macedonian economy, through projects in the corporate, financial, infrastructure and energy sector. EBRD funds attracted additional investments amounting to EUR 700 million from other sources.
Answering to journalist’s questions, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, regarding the need of transferring additional funds in the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, said that this is due to the inability to realize the planned sales of shares the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund owns.
– It is not a matter of subjective factor, but rather objective circumstances, Stavreski pointed out.