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Parliament supported the bill on a rail upgrade between the port of Koper and the inland hub of Divača

The parliament supported the government-sponsored bill on a rail upgrade between the port of Koper and the inland hub of Divača. The bill was passed in a 49:24 vote.

 

Addressing the MPs, Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič labelled the second track as "our biggest and internationally significant infrastructure project". A better railway connection will benefit the Slovenian economy as well as the economies of hinterland countries linked to the port of Koper, he asserted.

 

In line with the law, the 27-kilometre Koper-Divača track, seen as vital for the development of the Koper port, will be built with a mix of budget funds, EU funding, contributions by landlocked countries that use the port, and special levies on port cargo and lorries. 

 

Budget funding of the project is limited to EUR 200m, while the remaining costs should be covered by EU funds, contributions by landlocked countries that use the port of Koper and special levies on port cargo and lorries. A loan from the European Investment Bank is also planned, the minister said.

 

Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič has argued the international relevance of the project, pointing to letters of support from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 

As for fees, calculations by the Infrastructure Ministry show EUR 11.5m annually would be collected with lorry fees on motorways, and EUR 8.3m would come from a transshipment fee levied on the port. The figure for the port fee is half that initially calculated by port operator Luka Koper and is the result of amendments proposed by the coalition.

 

The act envisages a five-member body to oversee the financial and other aspects of the project. Four members will be put forward by ministries and one by the civil society, but they will all need to be endorsed and appointed by the infrastructure minister.