The European Union (EU) is stepping up support for Corridor Vc, the main transport infrastructure project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an additional grant of € 14.6 million.
The funds will be used to finance the supervision of works contracts on five sections of the motorway which are financed by loans granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the financing of the grant will reimburse the supervision costs incurred. by two motorway companies to date.
Corridor Vc is a pan-European transport project reconnecting the continent. The section in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 325 kilometers long and will cross the country from north to south, eventually connecting the Adriatic port of Ploče in Croatia to the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
The highway, which will bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to the EU, is co-financed by loans from the EBRD and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EU resources. To date, the EBRD has provided loans amounting to € 850 million from its own resources, while EU investments and technical assistance grants have totaled over € 220 million. .
The signing of the grant agreements today was attended by representatives of the EBRD, the EU and public highway companies of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The Vc Corridor is the key infrastructure project that the EBRD is supporting in the country. In addition to our loans, we also provide support by mobilizing grants from the EU and commercial creditors and by supporting institutional capacity building.
Krassimir Nikolov, charge d’affaires (ai) of the EU delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Now that Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of Europe are on the road to recovery after the Covid-19 crisis, property and people is needed more than ever. The EU is investing a total of more than 225 million euros in the road sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve connectivity and regional integration, which will bring concrete benefits in terms of investment and jobs for its citizens. I am very happy that five technical assistance agreements have been signed today – this brings us one step closer to the stated ambition of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to complete the Vc Corridor by 2028. “
Elmedin Voloder, Acting Director of Public Highways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We are grateful to the EU for its immense support in building modern transport infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Large infrastructure investments such as Corridor Vc require major investments and EU grants are crucial to make them feasible. “
Dusan Topić, Director of Motorways of the Republika Srpska, said: “We would like to thank both the EU and the EBRD for their continued and well-structured financial support, but also for the support they provide to our institutions, which helps to strengthen the motorway sector in our country.
The grant funds were secured under the EU-backed Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which aims to improve the region’s connectivity by building new transport links and upgrading infrastructure obsolete transportation and environmental issues. Other co-financiers of the Vc Corridor include the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Kuwait Fund.
The development of the Vc Corridor is a strategic priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina and should contribute to faster economic and social development. With 148 bridges and 46 tunnels, the motorway is currently the largest construction site in the country. The project is also helping to improve road safety in the country by introducing modern standards.