FYR Macedonia has signed a grant agreement for an additional €68.6m of co-financing from the European Union (EU) for the second phase of the Railway Corridor VIII upgrade project.
Awarded through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), funding will be utilised for the project between Beljakovce and Kriva Palanka.
Once completed, the 34km long section will become a part of the Trans-European Transport Network connecting Macedonia with Albania in the west and Bulgaria in the east.
First phase work is currently being carried out, which involves a 31km long rail section between Kumanovo and Beljakovce.
The contractor for the second phase of the project has been selected.
Procurement activities for the second phase have already commenced, with the WBIF agreeing to provide a technical cooperation grant of €5.7m for project preparation and implementation.
The development and rehabilitation of the railway network will support freight movement, as well as bolster connectivity with major international rail routes.
Macedonia previously received loans of €46.4m and €145m from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade railway infrastructure in the country.
The loans were awarded to the Macedonian Public Enterprise for Railway Infrastructure (PERI), a state-owned company.
Recently, Kosovo received €17.2m of co-financing to support upgrade works on the international link Rail Route 10, which runs from Macedonia to the Serbian border.