€60 mln loan agreement for purchase of 1,100 wagons signed

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic and Director of Serbian railways company Milanko Sarancic signed today with representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) a loan agreement worth €60 million for the purchase of 1,100 wagons.

Dinkic said in a press conference that this is a big day for Serbian railways and announced that a $80 million loan agreement for rehabilitation of the rail network on Corridor 10 will be signed with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The state decided to support the restructuring programme in the Serbian railways system, which will in the future play a more important role and will be one of the national and economic priorities of the government, the Minister pointed out.

He added that the government allocated €172 million this year for the railways and that another €32 million will arrive from the Spanish government’s loan for the purchase of locomotives.

EBRD Director for Serbia Dragica Pilipovic said that this institution was already engaged for some time on the restructuring of the Serbian railways and pointed out that this loan will support rail transportation of goods which is of the same quality as in Europe.

According to Pilipovic, the loan is conditioned by many restructuring parametres. She expressed belief that the parametres were set in a good way in a move towards support the restructuring of the Serbian railways.

Sarancic said that apart from 4,500 freight wagons, 2,000 are missing, and that the purchase of 1,100 wagons from this loan will help the Serbian railways system reach the optimum number of 6,000 wagons.

EBRD’s loan has been granted with a four-year grace period, a 4.5% interest rate per annum and repayment period of 15 years.