France has signed an agreement to donate EURO 8.3 million to Serbia towards the construction of the Belgrade subway, the Serbian government said on Tuesday.
“The donation will ensure that a feasibility study for the first phase of the Belgrade subway will be done under the supervision of Serbian authorities,” said French ambassador to Serbia, Jean-Louis Falconi, as saying in a press release.
The feasibility study, conceptual design and environmental impact assessment will be executed by French company Egis, Serbian Infrastructure Minister, Zorana Mihajlovic said in the press release.
“The technical documentation is expected to be completed within a year, and in the next few months, we will have more concrete information on whether the Chinese partners will be involved in the construction and the French on the telecommunications side of the project,” Mihajlovic said.
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In April 2019, Serbia’s government signed a cooperation agreement with China’s Power Construction Corporation (Powerchina) stipulating their involvement in the construction of the subway. Under the terms of the agreement, Serbia and Powerchina will commence joint work on drafting project documentation and spatial plans, as well as finding an appropriate format of the project financing.
“The Serbian government is also in talks for receiving French funds for the construction phase of the project, which will be subject to a new agreement that will be signed soon,” Ambassador Falconi said.
The construction of the Belgrade subway will be the largest and most financially difficult project in the Western Balkans, Mihajlovic said, adding that the estimated cost of the project stands between EUR 4.5 billion and 5.5 billion.
According to the preliminary design of the project, the subway network will consist of two lines – of 22 km and 19.8 km in length respectively – and will also integrate four urban railway lines.
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