A second EUR 17.2 million grant agreement for Kosovo rail modernization was signed by the representatives of the European Union, Kosovo, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is a co-financing from the European Union through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and EBRD will be implementing the EU grant.
The grant covers the central section of Kosovo’s rail Route 10 on Orient/East-Med Corridor in Kosovo, covering 49% of the works for the rehabilitation of 35 km of railway track and 5 railway stations on the section between Fushë Kosovë, near the capital Pristina, and Mitrovicë.
The project has also benefited from a EUR 1.5 million grant from the WBIF Bilateral Donors and EBRD to cover the preparation of design, tender documents and project implementation support. In addition, the EU has provided a EUR 0.5 million grant for the preparation of the feasibility study along the entire Route 10.
The detailed design and tender dossier for Phase 2 are close to completion and construction could hence start in the third quarter of 2019 and be finalised by the end of 2024. Once complete, the project will ensure secure and efficient rail transport for approximately 50% of the population of Kosovo.
“The construction of the main railway line through Kosovo connects us to the neighbouring countries and further to the European Union in both directions – north and south. We are signing the agreement that covers the 35 km line from Fushë Kosovë to Mitrovica. At the same time, we have already applied for the funding of the third phase – 42 km of railway to the border with Serbia in the value of over EUR 24 million only for physical works,” Bedri Hamza, Finance Minister of Kosovo said.
This grant follows loans of EUR 39.9 million and EUR 42 million made in 2015 by the EBRD and EIB respectively, to finance all three phases of work. In February 2018, Kosovo also received grant co-financing of EUR 38.5 million from the EU through the WBIF for the first phase of works.
The project will improve the connection between Kosovo’s railway network and the wider European network through Pan-European Corridor VIII and Corridor X, running southwards to the border with FYR Macedonia and northwards to the Serbian border.