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Construction of the remaining section of one of Eastern Europe's key motorway networks, Corridor 10, will begin this summer, Macedonian Finance Minister Zoran Stavrevski said today.
Photo by: build.mk
The 28-kilometre section between Demir Kapija and Smokvica is to be built with funding worth a total of 300 million Euros, which makes it one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Macedonia in recent years.
"We hope that this will boost the local economy, along with other capital projects that we are planning from the budget," Stavrevski said. He did not specify the exact date on which construction work will begin.
In September last year Stavreski signed a loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development worth 107 million Euros for this section of the highway.
An additional 130 million Euros has been provided by the European Investment Bank, and another 45 million Euros has been granted under the European Unions' Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. The government said it will allocate remaining funds from the state budget.
Corridor 10 is one of the two main transport routes connecting Macedonia to Serbia, Greece and the rest of Europe.
Construction is scheduled to be completed within five years. Work will be complicated by the route, which passes through the Demir Kapija gorge and rocky terrain.
Meanwhile after several postponements of the tendering procedure it is still not clear which of the 15 international companies that tendered offers will build the stretch. The contractor should be chosen within the next few weeks, authorities say.
Macedonian media have speculated that three companies have the best chance of winning the contract, the Greek company, Aktor, the Italian consortium Todini S.p.A., and the Turkish company, MAPA.
The tender stipulates that eligible bidders must have completed at least one highway project worth at least 250 million Euros and must have had an annual turnover of at least 150 million Euros in the past three years.
This has led to dissatisfaction among some domestic construction companies, who complain that these stringent requirements effectively disqualify them from bidding for the project.
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