Eurasian Development Bank might co-finance Belarus' road upgrade projects

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MINSK. KAZINFORM - The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is considering a possibility to co-finance the renovation of the M10 and M3 highways in Belarus, EDB Deputy Chairman of the Board Andrei Krainy told BelTA following his meeting with Belarus' Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Avramenko.

The parties shared views on the selection, analysis, reconciliation and implementation of investment projects in Belarus. They also discussed a contract with Stadler to purchase ten five-car inter-city and suburban business-class electric trains for Belarusian Railways, as well as the forthcoming renovation of the M10 highway (Russian border-Gomel-Kobrin) and the M3 highway (Minsk-Vitebsk).

Belarusian Railways and Stadler signed the contract in January. In line with the contract, by 2021 Belarusian Railways shall purchase ten modern five-car trains running with alternating current. Maximum speed of the trains is 160 km/h. The first electric train (EMU) is to be delivered at the end of 2020. There were plans to use loans of big foreign banks. Andrei Krainy noted that the EDB will soon announce its decision regarding the project co-financing. On 5 February he toured the Stadler production facility in Fanipol that manufactures the rolling stock for the CIS member states.

Speaking about the road upgrade projects, Andrei Krainy noted that it is a no-rush matter and that the decision could be made by 2020. The bank has studied the project. After that, experts will get down to work; design and construction documents will be drafted, he informed. The project is estimated at €150 million to €450 million, however the estimates are preliminary. "It is a big project for the Eurasian Development Bank and for the Transport and Communications Ministry. The talks have already kicked off. We are waiting for the documents. When we get them, we will resume our work. We will apply for a tender," Andrei Krainy noted. He added that the bank is interested in large-scale long-term infrastructure projects like this.

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution founded by Russia and Kazakhstan in January 2006 with a view to facilitating the development of market economies in the member states, their sustainable economic growth, and the expansion of mutual trade and economic ties. The EDB's charter capital stands at $7 billion. The member states of the bank are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, Kazinform has learnt from BelTA.

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