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EIB Global Provides EUR 38 Million Loan for Kosovo Rail Route 10 Modernisation

EIB Global Provides EUR 38 Million Loan for Kosovo Rail Route 10 Modernisation
photo: Global Provides EUR 38 Million Loan for Kosovo Rail Route 10 Modernisation
24 / 02 / 2023

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will provide a loan of EUR 38 million for the modernisation of Kosovo Rail Route 10, as part of a plan to increase travel speed and improve passenger and freight capacity. The project is being implemented in three phases, and this is the second EIB loan tranche, bringing the total amount provided to EUR 80 million.

Rail Route 10 is one of the most important railway lines connecting Kosovo to other countries, and the rehabilitation of the line has been a long-standing priority. Kosovo’s Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers, Hekuran Murati, said that the agreement is of great importance, as it will improve connectivity with trading partners and guarantee mobility between Kosovo and the region.

The modernisation project of Rail Route 10 will address the serious structural constraints that currently limit traffic to 60km/h. The project involves the rehabilitation of 139 km of single-track railway, from the northern border with Serbia to the southern border with North Macedonia.

In October 2021, the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) provided a technical assistance grant of EUR 1.3 million for the rehabilitation of the northern section of the Kosovo Rail Route 10, from Mitrovica to Leshak, which represents the third phase of the modernisation of the line.

The financing obtained for each phase of the modernisation project varies. The total value of the modernisation of the first phase was EUR 84.8 million, of which EUR 43 million came from grants, while EUR 40.8 million was provided as loans. The modernisation of the second phase cost EUR 51.1 million and was financed with EUR 18.58 million in grants and EUR 29.3 million in loans. The third phase, which involves the modernisation of 47 km of tracks and the associated railway stations between Mitrovicë/Mitrovica and the border with Serbia, received a total financing of EUR 100.9 million, of which EUR 1.3 million was provided as grants (from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and WBIF), and EUR 25.1 million as loans (from EBRD and EIB).

The Kosovo Rail Route 10 is part of the Western Balkans core railway network and an extension of the TEN-T, which aims to improve regional connectivity and integration on the Orient/East-Mediterranean Corridor. The project will provide better connections on the north-south axis, and the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027 has identified the route as a flagship.