The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a sovereign loan of up to EUR 23 million to finance the rehabilitation of two rail sections in Moldova which facilitate the freight transport via alternative routes from Ukraine via Moldova to the EU.
An agreement was signed for the first EUR 12 million tranche which will be used by Calea Ferată din Moldova (CFM) to acquire materials to rehabilitate Valcinet – Balti – Ungheni section. A second tranche of up to EUR 11 million would be provided for the rehabilitation of Chisinau – Cainari section.
EUR 71 million is the total cost of the project which also benefits an investment grant of up to EUR 20 million from the European Union via its Foreign Policy Needs Instrument, as well as up to EUR 28 million co-financing from the CFM’s funds or state budget.
The project aims to ensure food security and improves the access for Ukrainian goods to the largest operable port at the Black Sea, Constanta, as well as to ports in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine – at Galati, Reni, Ismail and Giurgiulesti, with a cumulative operating capacity that can absorb a significant part of Ukraine’s export needs.
The project supports the shift from high to low-carbon modes of transport as the goods from and to Ukraine via Moldova are predominantly transported by road due to the lack of capacity of the Moldovan North – Central railway network.
The European Investment Bank announced at the end of 2021 that would provide a EUR 24 million loan to CFM to modernise the 233 km Bender – Causeni – Basarabeasca – Giurgiulesti railway part of its south corridor. In October 2021, the EBRD and Moldova’s Government signed an agreement for a EUR 23.5 million loan to be used by CFM to modernise this rail section, Moldova’s most important rail connection with Romania and Ukraine.