EBRD-supported railway projects in North Macedonia enter new phase
Citizens of North Macedonia will benefit from greener transport and improved regional connectivity thanks to new construction on the eastern section of its railway network, part of the Pan-European Corridor VIII.

An event was held today to mark the start of construction works on a 34-kilometre section from Beljakovce to Kriva Palanka and the finalisation of remaining works on a 31-kilometre section from Kumanovo to Beljakovce.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended a loan of almost €200 million to North Macedonia for these works on the two rail sections.

The railway upgrade also benefits from extensive support from the European Union (EU), which has provided a €75 million investment grant. In addition, bilateral donors to the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) have extended €6 million in grants for technical assistance for project preparation and supervision.

Earlier this week, works also began on Albania’s railway network. The reconstructed rail links will eventually connect – via North Macedonia – Albania’s largest port of Durres on the Adriatic with the Black Sea port of Varna in Bulgaria.

Including these investments, the EBRD has committed a total of €940 million to rail projects in the six Western Balkans countries to date and plans to invest nearly the same amount ‒ another €840 million – in the medium term.

Andi Aranitasi, EBRD Head of North Macedonia, said: “Improving transport infrastructure and especially railways, a safer and greener mode of transport, will not only improve regional connectivity and open up new economic and trade opportunities, but also plays a key role in addressing the urgent issue of climate change. The EBRD has allocated more than €350 million to date for the railway sector of North Macedonia, including €300 million for Corridor VIII and we are determined to see this strategic project for the country and the region completed”.