The European Commission has approved an investment of 80 million euros (94.2 million U.S. dollars) from the Cohesion Fund to co-finance a railway track between the port of Koper and the village of Divaca in Western Slovenia.
“This EU investment is necessary for the improvement of rail connectivity of the Port of Koper, which is a crucial hub for freight and passenger transport with Central Europe,” EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira commented in an EU press release on Tuesday.
The press release said the new line is essential to deal with a growing demand along the route and connect a crucial core network corridor to maritime routes.
By redirecting traffic from roads to railways, the project will help reduce emissions and improve local air quality in line with the EU’s Green Deal targets, said the Commission.
The price tag of the entire Divaca-Koper project, the biggest publicly-financed construction project currently under way in Slovenia, is estimated at 1.19 billion euros (1.40 billion U.S. dollars), according to the Slovenian Press Agency STA.
The project will be financed from various sources, with Slovenia expected to invest the biggest share. Moreover, It will be funded by EU grants, loans by international financial institutions, commercial banks and SID Bank, the state-run export and development bank, according to STA.
The National Review Commission has recently shortened the list of suitable bidders for the principal construction works on the rail section. While some bidders will reportedly be asked to supplement their bids, one bidder each from Slovenia, Turkey, China and Austria remain in play, STA said. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)