The funds will be used to finance the supervision of works contracts on five motorway sections that are financed with loans provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the grant funding 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 kilometres long and will cross the country from north to south, eventually connecting the Adriatic port of Ploče in Croatia with the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
The motorway, which will bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to the EU, is co-financed by loans from the EBRD and European Investment Bank (EIB) and grant resources form the EU. To date, the EBRD has provided loans worth €850 million from its own resources, while the investments and technical assistance grants extended by the EU have totalled over €220 million.
The signing of the grant agreements today was attended by representatives of the EBRD, the EU and the public motorway companies of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Corridor Vc is the key infrastructure project the EBRD supports in the country. In addition to our loans, we also provide support by mobilising grant funding from the EU and commercial creditors and by supporting institutional capacity building.”
Krassimir Nikolov, Chargé d’Affaires (a.i.) of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Now that Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of Europe are embarking on the road to recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, the smooth flow of goods and people is needed as much as ever. The EU is investing a total of more than €225 million in the road sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve connectivity and regional integration and this will bring concrete benefits in terms of investment and jobs to its citizens. I am very glad that five technical assistance agreements have been signed today – it brings us one step closer to the stated ambition of the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, to complete Corridor Vc by 2028.”
Elmedin Voloder, Acting Director of Public Motorways 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. Big infrastructure investments such as Corridor Vc require major investments and EU grants are crucial to making them feasible.”
Dusan Topić, Director of Motorways of the Republika Srpska, said: “We would like to thank to both the EU and the EBRD for their continued, well-structured financial support, but also for the support they provide to our institutions, which helps strengthen the motorways sector in our country.”
The grant funds have been secured through the EU-supported Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which aims to improve the region’s connectivity by building new transport links and upgrading outdated transport and environmental infrastructure. Other co-financiers of Corridor Vc include the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Kuwait Fund.
The development of Corridor Vc is a strategic priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina and is expected to contribute to faster economic and social development. With 148 bridges and 46 tunnels, the motorway is currently the biggest construction project in the country. The project is also helping to improve road safety in the country by introducing modern standards.