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World Bank: $62.5 million to support the Serbian railway modernization project.

World Bank: $62.5 million to support the Serbian railway modernization project.
photo: Bank headquarters
29 / 04 / 2021

The World Bank has approved a USD 62.5 million loans to support the first phase of the multi-phase programme for the Serbian rail market modernisation project.

The total funding limit for all phases of the programme is USD 400 million. Thanks to 50% joint co-financing, the World Bank is working with the French Development Agency at this stage, which requires an investment of USD 125 million.

Serbia plans to modernise around 3 735 km of its rail network to increase efficiency, environmental sustainability and regional connectivity. Stephen Ndegwa, The World Bank's Manager for Serbia, said: "Serbia's rail network is an important asset for the country and has the potential to play a strategic role in national growth and jobs. The programme will lead to better infrastructure, security, and integration in individual regions and districts. I should also accelerate economic growth and improve the business environment throughout the region.

"The renewed and modernised rail network will become an essential part of the transformation of the country's multimodal transport and the programme is fully in line with Serbia's agenda of joining the European Union, including its commitment to the EU Green Deal and climate neutrality, which envisages a 90% reduction in transport emissions." Preliminary evaluations indicate that this project will provide nearly USD 111.28 million in value to project beneficiaries and users.

The project aims to reduce the number of railway deaths by 23%, increase network use by 5% and increase the market share of the national freight railway by 10% over the next decade. Serbia plans to invest USD 3.93 billion (EUR 3.3 billion) in its rail network over the next decade. The investment will be used for the implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ETCS), complete electrification of the rail network, improvement of railway asset management and other purposes. The World Bank recently approved a USD 440 million loans to support Egyptian initiatives aimed at improving the safety and quality of its railway services.