Montenegro Seeks Cash to Build Highway’s Second Phase

Montenegro Seeks Cash to Build Highway’s Second Phase

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The primary section of the Montenegrin Bar-Boljare freeway. Picture: Authorities of Montenegro

Montenegro’s Ministry of Finance stated on Wednesday that it’s negotiating with European banks on financing the second section of the Bar-Boljare freeway.

On July 13, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic opened the primary part of the freeway, seven years after the Chinese language-financed venture began, and drove up Montenegro’s public debt to 90.85 per cent of GDP.

“To this point, the ministry had talks with a lot of collectors who’re all for collaborating or fully taking on the refinancing of loans for freeway building. The federal government of Hungary, by means of the Hungarian Exim Financial institution, adopted by the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Growth, EBRD, and the European Funding Financial institution, EIB, confirmed probably the most curiosity,” the ministry informed BIRN.

“A feasibility research is underway, which ought to present the true potential prices of constructing the remaining sections of the freeway, which can assist determine potential sources of financing,” it added.

The Bar-Boljare freeway represents the Montenegrin leg of a bigger freeway that may run from the Adriatic coast to the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

On July 20, the Ministry for Capital Investments stated the 23.5-kilometres-long second section, operating from Matesevo to Andrijevica, would possible price some 552 million euros.

The primary 41-kilometre-long section was constructed by the Chinese language Street and Bridge Company, CRBC. It was 85-per-cent financed by an $810-million-loan from China’s Exim Financial institution.

In 2018, CRBC requested for one more 115 million euros for subsequent works in addition to the development of a water provide and electrical energy community on the freeway, which weren’t detailed within the contract.

The primary section was attributable to end by November 2019 however completion was delayed thrice attributable to technical points and the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 7, Minister of Finance Aleksandar Damjanovic stated the venture had been applied with out parliamentary management, warning that the entire prices of the primary section might be as a lot as 1.2 billion euros. The ministry informed BIRN that 141 million euros had been paid to the Chinese language financial institution to this point.

Final November, the Ministry of Capital Investments revealed two beforehand confidential worldwide feasibility research, which advised that the estimated price of the primary section of the Bar-Boljare freeway had been exaggerated.

A feasibility research by URS Infrastructure and Atmosphere, a British engineering consultancy, stated the primary section ought to price $803 million euros. One other research, by one other British consultancy, Scott Wilson Group, stated it ought to price $570 million.

The research had been carried out in 2009 and 2012, however the earlier authorities, which launched the freeway venture, had labeled them as confidential.

The EU additionally has considerations in regards to the freeway’s prices. In final 12 months’s progress report on the nation, the European Fee famous that Montenegro had utilized for co-financing for the development of the second part of the freeway beneath the Western Balkans Funding Framework.

“Nevertheless, the appliance is on maintain, pending finalization of the EU-financed cost-benefit evaluation for your entire Bar-Boljare freeway, together with on beneficial building requirements and advised technique of financing for the remaining sections,” the report stated.

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