More EBRD backing for Serb railways

By Sandy Guthrie20 September 2010

The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is supporting further modernisation of rail operations in Serbia with a € 100 million sovereign guaranteed loan to the Serbian state-owned railway company, Zeleznice Srbije.

The finance will be used for the upgrading of Corridor X rail and the purchase of locomotives.

Corridor X is the primary transport route in Serbia, running on a north-south axis and connecting major and secondary urban centres by road and rail. This includes the three largest cities - Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis.

The EBRD loan will be used to renew over 111 km of track on Corridor X, to purchase track maintenance machinery and to acquire 15 new electric locomotives, which will replace outdated cars for freight services.

It is said the investment would assist Zeleznice Srbije in raising the quality and efficiency of passenger and freight services on rail Corridor X, reducing maintenance costs and improving energy efficiency.

The project, supported by € 650000 in technical assistance grants from the Central European Initiative, German government and the bank's Shareholder Special Fund, will also support Zeleznice Srbije in its restructuring process, implementation of this project and the development of various energy efficiency initiatives.

This is the EBRD's fourth financing extended to Zeleznice Srbije. In total, including the latest loan, the bank provided over € 300 million for the modernisation of Serbian railways.

Since the beginning of its operations in Serbia, the EBRD has committed over € 2,2 billion in various sectors of the Serbian economy, mobilising additional investment in excess of € 2,7 billion.

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