Slovenia to Seek Private Capital for Railroad to Koper Port

  • Minister wants to reduce cost from 1.4 billion euros estimate
  • Luka Koper port operator sees increased cargo handling by 2020

Slovenia will form a company that will build a second railroad track to the port of Koper on the prospect of increased cargo to neighboring countries including Austria and Hungary.

The government plans to adopt legislation to establish the company by May, which at first would be owned by the state and would later seek to attract private capital, mostly from countries where cars, boxes and other goods are shipped through Slovenia’s only port operator Luka Koper, Infrastructure Minister Peter Gaspersic told reporters in Ljubljana.

“The main aim of the capital boost from private investors would be for Slovenia to have a minority interest in the company,” Gaspersic said Thursday. “With private investors’ support, the company would be able to raise debt more easily.

The Alpine nation’s government has pledged for years to build the second stretch of a 27 kilometers (17 miles) rail line from Divaca to Koper. Luka Koper forecasts cargo handling increasing to 24.3 million tons in 2020 compared with 15.5 million tons in the first nine months of 2015, shipped to nearby countries, including Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.

The government development agency estimated the project to cost about 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion), which Slovenia will seek to reduce by attracting private capital, Gaspersic said.

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