POLAND: Financing has been put in place for the fourth phase of the Kraków Fast Tramway project, in what the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development says will be the first PPP in the Polish tramway infrastructure sector.

The 4·5 km, 10-stop link between the Mistrzejowice terminus of routes 9, 14 and 16 and the Tauron Arena Kraków Wieczysta stop on routes 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 44, 49 and 52 is to be built and maintained by PPP Solutions Polska 2, a special-purpose vehicle owned by Gülermak which has been awarded a 20-year concession to develop and maintain the link.

EBRD has agreed a loan of 258·5m złoty, and a further 565·5m złoty is to be co-financed by the European Investment Bank and a Polish commercial bank.

The project is one of several in various sectors which the Polish government is using to pilot PPP schemes and is designed to provide experience for other cities considering similar financing models.

Krakow tram

‘The Kraków tram PPP represents a pioneering project in the evolution of the PPP market in Poland and a significant milestone for Gülermak Group as its first PPP investment’, said the Turkish engineering company’s Chairman Kemal Güleryüz on December 28. ’EBRD brings substantial experience to the project and also guides all stakeholders to prioritise green economy transition.’

The extension through a residential area will include a 940 m tunnel under the Polsad roundabout with an underground stop, road remodelling and pedestrian and cycling facilities.

‘The project, which the city’s population is eagerly anticipating, will make Kraków’s tram network faster and more convenient, encouraging more people to use trams instead of cars’, said Susan Goeransson, EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Europe.