Serbia is to further upgrade its railway infrastructure thanks to a €25 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Article continues below
Srbija Voz, Serbia’s national rail passenger operator, will use the loan to build a new regional depot in Niš and rehabilitate two existing ones in Zemun and Sombor.
The facility, guaranteed by the Republic of Serbia, will enable Srbija Voz to finance not only building works for the depots, which are used for maintenance of its rolling stock, but also the procurement of new maintenance equipment and works supervision.
The modernisation of maintenance practices will increase efficiency of passenger services.
As part of the project, Srbija Voz will also work on skills development and support new dual education programmes, and further improve its corporate governance.
Srbija Voz has been a client of the EBRD since its unbundling from the former railway company JSC Serbian Railways in 2015.
Through joint projects, EBRD financing has helped Srbija Voz to modernise five electric trains, to construct a new technical passenger station in Zemun, which included an IT upgrade and a new auto-ticketing system and, in the latest project, to buy 18 new electric trains.
The EBRD has also supported projects in the Serbian railway sector with other state-owned companies, investing around €500 million so far, with another €500 million or so in the pipeline.
The current total EBRD investment in the railway sector across the six Western Balkans countries amounts to €1 billion, with a significant pipeline for the future.
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €8.6 billion in various sectors of Serbia’s economy. ■
Global commodities giant Louis Dreyfus (LDC) is looking to acquire Namoi Cotton with a non binding all cash offer of 51 cents per share, representing a substantial 41% premium over Monday's closing price of 36 cents.