Skopje, 6th October 2015 (MIA) – Today, Loan and Guarantee Agreements were signed between the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank in the amount of EUR 83 million for the construction of the express road between Rankovce and Kriva Palanka. The construction is envisaged to commence in spring and to be completed in three years, i.e. by the end of 2019.

Both Agreements were signed at the Ministry of Finance by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, WB Acting Country Manager in the Resident Representative Office in Macedonia, Bojana Naceva, and Director of Public Enterprise for State Roads, Aleksandar Stojanov. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Vladimir Pesevski, and Minister of Transport and Communications, Vlado Misjalovski, also attended the signing ceremony.

– Signing of this Loan Agreement makes the construction of the express road between Rankovce and Kriva Palanka a reality. This is a road of exceptional significance for the residents in the north-east part of Macedonia, as well as for all citizens travelling to Bulgaria, since a new modern two-lane road will be built, providing for faster and safer traffic, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said following the signing ceremony.

The loan, as he said, is approved under exceptionally favourable conditions, 28-year repayment period, 8-year grace period and 6-month EURIBOR rate accounting for 0.88% at the moment.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski, realization of this Project is a result of the successful cooperation with the World Bank.

– Exceptionally good and fast realization at the very beginning of the project as regards the commencing of road construction is part of the long-standing partnership relationship with the World Bank in the past 20 years, which has been supporting the Republic of Macedonia with 1 billion 960 million US dollars in projects. Grants are also part thereof, used for realization of significant projects in the filed of transport infrastructure, energy, agriculture, social sphere, education and other sectors, Stavreski said.

Public Enterprise for State Roads is the borrower, while the state is the guarantor. EUR 78 million out of the total amount is to be used for the construction of the express road, while EUR 5 million is intended for establishment of bridge management system and institutional support for the Public Enterprise.

The project, as WB Acting Country Manager in the Resident Representative Office in Macedonia, Bojana Naceva, said, is envisaged in the World Bank Country Partnership Strategy knowing the importance of the road network for both the growth and the competitiveness of the country.

– Investments in the road infrastructure in Macedonia will ensure better connectivity to regional markets and will make the country a more attractive destination for the investors. Roads are also crucial for the local citizens, as well as for tourism development, Naceva said, adding that the new project would enhance the transport connectivity for those using the road along Corridor 8.

As Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Pesevski said, the Agreement is a continuation of the infrastructure expansion in the Republic of Macedonia, including implementation of large number of projects in all spheres of life, such as numerous local and regional roads and highways.

– In addition to the citizens in this region, the project will be of great significance for all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, especially those engaged in the economic sphere who had neglected the relations with the eastern countries. The road will provide for conditions for enhanced trade and easier transportation of people and goods, creating preconditions for tourism development, Pesevski said.

Minister of Transport and Communications Vlado Misajlovski said that the Government has shown its continuity in building quality infrastructure.

– This Government is strongly committed to building quality infrastructure. The fact that three new highways, being 156 km long in total in the amount of more than EUR 800 million, are being built at the moment speaks in favour of this. Construction of 5 regional roads has been commenced in just one month: Bitola – Bukovo – Resen, Novo Selo – Mokrino – Smolare, Nov Dojran – Nikolic, 155 km long in the total amount of EUR 10 million, Misjalovski said, adding that this month or the next month at the latest, rehabilitation of six regional roads, Smokvica – Gevgelija, Boskov Most – Debar, Delcevo – Golak, Melnicki Most – Centar Zupa, Lazani – Ropotovo – Crniliste, Krivogastani – Obrsani – Vogani and Klepac – Novaci, will be launched, Misajlovski stated.

Aleksandar Stojanov from the Public Enterprise for State Roads said that new modern 26-km long road, one line in each direction with a width of 11.4 m to 12.5 m would be built. – The section, he explained, is divided in two parts from Krivo Palanka to Globocica and from Globocica to Stracin. It will also comprise 22 bridges, 9 overpasses, 13 culverts and 2 intersections.

As announced at the press conference, regarding the modernization of Corridor 8, section from Kriva Palanka to Deve Bair will also be reconstructed and extended.

Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski underlined that the Government adopted decision to fully reconstruct and extend this section and that tender for its designing was published.

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