HŽ Infrastruktura signed two agreements with Chinese companies for railway development. The memorandum signed with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) envisages the modernisation of Rijeka – Zagreb railway and the agreement with China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (CREEC) involves a joint establishment of a corridor with a special emphasis on the Mediterranean Corridor.
Under the Rijeka-Zagreb project, the railway infrastructure manager and CRBC agreed on the development of a new railway connection between Zagreb and Karlovac, on Rijeka port – Zagreb route. The parties agreed to establish a joint working group which will implement activities in the next three years.
The project envisages the modernisation of the existing section between Zagreb and Karlovac, and the construction of Karlovac- Oštarije -Rijeka section the so-called Lowland Railway, which is part of 202 Zagreb GK – Karlovac – Rijeka main corridor railway line for international traffic, located on the RH2 rail transport corridor and the Mediterranean Corridor. Karlovac – Oštarije section is a continuation of the Hrvatski Leskovac – Karlovac section, for which design documents are just being prepared, as well as the Major project application for co-financing of works by EU funds. Besides the mentioned sections, Oštarije – Škrljevo section continues further to the Karlovac – Oštarije section, for which public procurement for the preparation of study documents is currently ongoing, and Škrljevo – Rijeka – Jurdani section, for which design documentation is being prepared.
In December 2018, the Ministry of Transport and the Central Finance and Contracting Agency signed a grant agreement for the project of the preparation of study and design documents for the modernisation of M202 Zagreb GK – Rijeka railway line, Karlovac – Oštarije section. Project aim is to prepare study and design documents for the modernization and construction of the Zagreb – Rijeka route to connect the wider area of Karlovac and Oštarije, together with meeting technical and technological conditions which main corridor lines for international traffic have to fulfil. The value of the project is HRK 85.5 million (EUR 11.5 million), of which HRK 69.5 million (EUR 9.37 million) are eligible costs. HRK 59 million (EUR 7.95 million), of 85% of eligible costs will be covered by the Cohesion Fund, while HRK 10.4 million (EUR 1.4 million) will be secured by HŽ Infrastruktura. Project implementation will last until 2023.
Under the other five-year cooperation agreement, HŽ Infrastruktura and CREEC will jointly establish an international corridor, based on the development of intermodal railway corridors, logistics areas and freight terminals and modernization of intermodal transport and management on this corridor. The aim is to establish a sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly intermodal transport corridor in Croatia, and to modernise individual railway capacities and seaports such as Split, Šibenik, Zadar and Rijeka, and strengthen their connectivity.
“The agreements with Chinese companies are a result of a series of meetings held between Croatia and China. We are confident that through our cooperation with the Chinese companies, we will develop the Mediteranean Corridor and will construct the Lowland Railway line, increasing the capacity of the infrastructure and corridors’ efficiency,” said HŽ Infrastruktura President of the Management Board, Ivan Kršić.