Commissioner presents EUR 109m check for Koper-Divača track
European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has symbolically presented to Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek a check of EUR 109 million in EU funds Slovenia secured for a rail expansion between the port of Koper and the inland hub Divača.
The money will be spent to construct seven tunnels on the new rail route.
"After many years, we've brought another successful project to the next stage," Bulc, the Slovenian member of the European Commission, said as she presented the check to Bratušek in Ljubljana on Monday.
The Commission has so far earmarked EUR 153 million for the Koper-Divača project, Bulc said about the project whose total price tag is EUR 1.2 billion. She also noted the Commission had co-funded 35 road infrastructure projects in Slovenia worth more than one billion euro during the 2014-19 term. "Investments in infrastructure are one of the reasons why Slovenia has stable growth," she stressed.
Bratušek, welcoming the EU funds, said the goal is to launch the new rail track by 2026, noting Slovenia was in talks with the Commission on another EUR 80 million for the rail expansion. Both Bratušek and Bulc also pointed to the great role of rail transport. "We see it as a key leverage to reduce harmful emissions and pollution from transport, to improve road safety, reduce traffic jam and to transport cargo," said the commissioner. "Investment in railway infrastructure is the first thing to do if we want to improve public transport and do more for the environment," said the minister.
Bulc noted the second rail track between Koper and Divača was part of two of a total of nine European corridors which link all EU members, so it is important not only for Slovenia but for the entire EU. She said the Commission would like all of the corridors to be completed by 2030.
The 27-kilometre track between Koper and Divača is one of the largest infrastructure projects planned in Slovenia. It will be fund with EU grants and from the national budget.