The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will lend as much as 46.4 million euros ($57.8 million) to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s state-run railroad development company.
The 15-year loan to the Macedonian Railway Infrastructure supports a 60.7 million euro upgrade of the 30.8-kilometer (19-mile) stretch from Kumanovo to Beljakovce, northeast of the capital Skopje. The project gives the Balkan nation and its neighbors “a whole new route for trade” with improved links to the Black Sea ports in neighboring Bulgaria, the London-based lender said in an e-mailed statement.
The rail line is part of the so-called Pan European Rail Corridor VIII that plans to link the Black Sea coast with the Adriatic in Albania. The Macedonian project also got a 4 million euro grant from the European Union’s Western Balkans Investment Framework, the bank said.