The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Turkish engineering firm Gülermak signed agreements to support the construction of phase four of Krakow fast tram project which is the first PPP tram project in the city and in Poland.
The PLN 258.5 million (EUR 54 million) loan is provided by the bank through to a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) PPP Solutions Polska 2 Sp, the project company. The SPV is owned by the Gülermak. “We are proud to support Krakow’s efforts to make its transport greener. The project, which the city’s population is eagerly anticipating, will make Krakow’s tram network faster and more convenient, encouraging more people to use trams instead of cars,” EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Europe, Susan Goeransson said.
The loan is part of a PLN 824 million (EUR 177.5 million) overall financing for PPP. The rest of the financing package of around PLN 565.5 million (EUR 121.8 million) will be co-financed by the European Investment Bank which already provided a EUR 32.3 million loan and a Polish commercial bank.
The new phase of the city’s tram expansion includes the construction of a 4.5 km double tram, track and a 900-metre tunnel as well as the upgrade of the associated infrastructure which will also serve the pedestrians and cyclists.
“The Krakow tram PPP represents a pioneering project in the evolution of the PPP market in Poland and a significant milestone for Gülermak Group as its first PPP investment. The EBRD brings substantial experience to the project and also guides all stakeholders to prioritise green economy transition,” Türkekul Doğan, CEO of PPP Investment for Gülermak, said. Gülermak Group will undertake the construction and maintenance works.
Currently, project’s progress of design works is 60%. In addition, the design of the Młyńskie Roundabout stop unveiled recently shows that the station which will be underground constructed will be roofed and will protect the infrastructure against unfavorable weather conditions. The track is located on level -1 and communication with level 0 is made through two exits featuring traditional stairs and lifts. Initially no roof was designed here which was reflected in the architectural and building design filed for approval under the ZRID (building permit) procedure.
In September 2022 it was announced that the Kurdwanów Terminus, opened in 1974, will be redeveloped and once the entire project will be completed, the terminus will be hosting much more trams than today. The developed terminus will serve two directions, will have two 65-metre-long platforms on the route, and two more 45-metre-long on the terminus to allow safe exit and boarding of trams. There will be modern information displays, shelters and facilities for the disabled.
Under the fourth phase of Krakow fast tram project, the line will be constructed between Lema / Meissnera intersection and Mistrzejowice tram loop which will reduce the travel time by 12 minutes to the city centre.
In December 2021, the city of Krakow and the consortium of PPP Solutions Polska and Gülermak AGir Sanayi Insaat ve Taahhu signed the agreement for financing, designing, obtaining the necessary construction permits and building the tram line to Mistrzejowice. The PPP agreement was concluded for 24 years with the private partner being responsible for the design, construction and implementation of the investment as well as its maintenance. When the PPP agreement comes to an end, the city will take over the use of the infrastructure.
The EUR 280 million project which also includes the construction of an interchange station is expected to be completed in 2025 when the trams will run a frequency of up to 90 seconds. The new tracks will connect two existing tramlines in the north of the city, increasing the system’s capacity and enabling more than 40 additional tram trips per hour, resulting in more than 550 more trips per day.
The project is expected to reduce the CO2 emissions of the city’s transport system resulting from a modal shift possible through the increase of the tram service between two currently unconnected districts in Krakow.