KOSOVO: Infrastructure manager Infrakos has awarded Generale Costruzioni Ferroviarie a contract to modernise the central section of its north-south main line between Fushë Kosovë and Mitrovicë.
The upgrading of the Kosovan section of pan-European Corridor X has been divided into three lots: Hani i Elezit – Fushë Kosovë (67 km), Fushë Kosovë – Mitrovicë (34 km) and Mitrovicë – Leshak (46 km). GCF has been working on the first lot since February 2019, and that €78m package is reported to be more than 60% complete.
The €48m contract for the second section was signed by Infrakos CEO Zymer Zekaj and GCF President Edoardo Rossi in December, and the work is due to be completed within 15 months. This tranche centres on the rehabilitation of Fushë Kosovë station, the principal hub at the heart of the Infrakos network, plus the refurbishment of the stations at Mitrovicë, Vushtri, Druar, Prelluzhe and Obiliq-Kastriota. The package includes improvements to 32 level crossings and 18 km of roads.
Technical assistance for the final part of the Corridor X programme covering the section from Mitrovicë to Leshak in North Macedonia is being funded by the European Union through the Western Balkans Investment Framework. A €1·3m grant from WBIF is supporting the preparation of both preliminary and detailed design for the civil works, signalling & telecommunications and electrification works required on this section, with the package expected to cost €95·6m in total. The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development is acting as Project Lead International Financial Institution and is expected to provide much of the finance.
‘The modernisation of the entire line from North Macedonia to the Serbian border is €208m’, Zekaj told Railway Gazette on December 30. ‘Funds for the modernisation of Corridor X have been provided by loans from EBRD and EIB, and 50% grants from WBIF. Construction works are currently underway on the first phase (Fushë Kosovë – Hani i Elezit), and we are planning to publish a tender in the first quarter of 2022 for the signalling and telecommunications work on both the first and second phases (Hani i Elezit – Fushë Kosovë – Mitrovicë).
‘Design has recently started for the third phase (Mitrovicë – Leshak), and we expect that to be completed by the end of 2022 or in the first quarter of 2023. For the third phase of the modernisation, we plan to include both the construction works and the signalling and telecommunications within a single tender.’
- Read more about the revival of Kosovo’s railways in the September 2020 issue of Railway Gazette Internationalmagazine.