Zhao Dianlong, President of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) speaks at a ceremony at the Resnik Railway Station in Belgrade, Serbia, March 30, 2017. (Xinhua/Predrag Milosavljevic)
Construction works on the rehabilitation of a 7.5-km rail line here by the Chinese rail firm China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) was officially launched on Thursday.
The contract for the 23.8-million-euro (25.6 million U.S. dollars) project to fix part of the Belgrade railway's infrastructure was signed on Jan. 5 between Serbian Railways Infrastructure and CCECC. Project completion is expected in March 2018.
Serbian Railway Infrastructure general director Dusan Garibovic said the project would provide a necessary exit from the Belgrade railway to the south, and connect it with two railways, one leading towards Montenegro and the other to the city of Nis. The works will also improve the functioning of Belgrade's local train, BG.
Serbian minister of construction, transport and infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, said that “each kilometer of railway that is being reconstructed in Serbia in the past two years has brought more passengers and cargo on country's railways, and more money for the development of Serbian Railways and Serbia as a whole.”
The is the first project by the CCECC in Serbia and is financed from a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), she said.
Mihajlovic said that the segment of the railway network to be reconstructed had not been touched for more than 30 years, but that the government plan was to have this and similar parts modernized.
The project, which includes a power grid, platforms and stations on the 7.5-km stretch of railway will increase the capacities of the Belgrade railway node. Construction works will not interfere with the normal operation of the railway, Serbian Railways stated.