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Slovenian project for 1,2 million EUR in the process: Tunnelling works began on second track Divača-Koper route

Slovenian project for 1,2 million EUR in the process: Tunnelling works began on second track Divača-Koper route
photo: Archives/Ilustrative picture
14 / 10 / 2021

An ambitious project to build a second track on the Slovenian route Divača-Koper has made a significant leap forward. Tunnel construction for the first two of seven planned tunnels has begun by 2TDK company. The first tunnel T7, located in the Črni Kal is 1154 meters long and the second tunnel T8 in Dekani, Koper region will have significant 3.808 meters. All the tunnels will provide space for firefighters’ equipment and safe evacuation in case of emergency.

The Divača-Koper rail project combines a total of 27 km of rail track including 7 tunnels and 3 viaducts. With growing demand along the route, it is seen as essential to building a second railway line. The route is vulnerable to constraints because of mountainous terrain with an altitude gain of about 400 m. To ensure smooth passage the second track is planned to have 75% of the rail constructed under the ground. With the longest two tunnels combining 12km in total.

The project will provide a railway connection between the port of Koper and the village of Divača. The project started as a reaction to the growing demand on existing lines, which is an important international freight rail and forms part of the EUR TRANS European transport network (TEN-T). Port of Koper connects central European countries with overseas market routes.

Route holds significant importance for the central European region as an estimated two-thirds of all cargo coming from the port is intended for central Europe and only one-third will stay on the Slovenian market. The building of the second track is expected to fasten the process and get rid of delays.

Planning of the Divaca Koper railway line began in 1996. One of the largest Slovenian projects was heavily advocated to satisfy the highest criteria regarding the environmental impact, safety, speed, and traffic flow.

The project was inaugurated in May 2020 by the Slovenian authorities and 2TDK and CPG consortium. The Slovenian-Turkish consortium, Kolektor CPG (Slovenia), Yapi Merkezi Insaat, and Ozaltin Insaat, signed two contracts worth 628.3 million EUR for the construction of the new rail line. The first phase of construction covers the construction of the Divana-Črni Kal rail section valued at EUR 403.6 million. And second Črni Kal-Koper section for EUR 224.75 million.

The total value of the project is estimated at EUR 1.2 billion, with the EU contributing EUR 153.36 million through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and EUR 250 million funded by EIB (European investment bank). Another EUR 417 million is expected to come from loans by the IFIs and commercial banks. The government of Slovenia will cover EUR 522 million through capital repaid in annual installments. The Source of the capital comes mostly from the highway mark-up fees from DARS (Slovenia’s motorway company).

The whole project is expected to be finished in 2026. Newline can take up to 231 trains per day. Passenger trains will be able to run at 160km/h, while freight trains at 120km/h. The expected capacity will reach 43.4 million tonnes per year.

2TDK d.o.o (project development company). Was established in 2016 by the government of the Republic of Slovenia exclusively for the construction and development of the second track Divača - Koper railway line. The company is based in Ljubljana and is 100% state-owned. The company executes all the necessary construction works and financial engineering. After the period of 45 years, the ownership of the entire railway infrastructure and all the equipment will be transferred to the Republic of Slovenia.