Skip to main content

NEWS

Agreement signed for construction of access roads for second track

“We have done everything we could, and if there were no legal complications, we could be firing up the heavy equipment and starting construction of the second track today after the signing of the agreement,” said Minister of Infrastructure Dr Peter Gašperšič after today’s signing of an agreement between the Slovenian Infrastructure Agency (DRSI) and the companies Kolektor CPG and Euroasfalt BIH for the construction of access roads for the second track and a letter of intent on the transfer of the agreement between DRSI and 2TDK, which will head the project after the act on the second track enters into force.

In his address before the signing of the agreement, the Minister said that the year 2017 was a turning point for the second track. The Act on the Construction and Management of the Second Railway Track of the Divača to Koper Railway Line was adopted after receiving the support of a majority of voters in the September referendum. A decision was taken to expand the utility corridors on the three largest tunnels on the line, which will permit the construction of a two-track line in the next construction phase. The company 2TDK will be the project lead. A solid and clear financial structure has been established which will place the lowest possible burden on taxpayers. EUR 153 million in European grant funds have been secured for the preparatory works and the construction of seven tunnels, and EUR 80 million will be drawn from the Cohesion Fund for the construction of the eighth tunnel and two viaducts. This adds up to a total of EUR 234 million out of the planned EUR 250 million in grants. A contractor has been selected for the construction of the access roads. Traffic on the siding, which comprises the first kilometre of the second track, has already begun to flow. The project has received support from several European countries, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. A project council has been formed, which will provide citizen oversight of the project. “We have clearly accomplished a great deal, and the government of Miro Cerar has pulled this project out of the dead end into which it had been shunted for two decades,” said Gašperšič.

 

The fourteen and a half million euro contract which was signed today includes a suspensive condition, meaning that construction can start only after the entry into force of the act on the second track. “We believe that our arguments on the importance of this project will be heard by the constitutional court judges, who will decide on this matter not on the second track act, but on the two referenda. The constitutional court ruling will be significant. It will in effect decide the fate of the second track project,” said Gašperšič, who added that the project is of strategic importance for Slovenia in order to create new jobs, increase the competitiveness of the Port of Koper, support its development, the development of the economy, the coast and Slovenia, and with the construction of the second track Slovenia will further consolidate its position on the European and global logistics map. “I believe that the second track project is the train that will drive us forward and create the future for us and our children. It is an opportunity and a decision which offers Slovenia major and long-term benefits. But it will require us to be accountable and statesmanlike,” concluded the minister.

 

State Secretary Jure Leben added that today’s signing of the agreement is the conclusion of a further step in this project: “It is now with the Constitutional Court, which, I hope, will give it a priority constitutional court review, so that we will know how to proceed.” According to Leben, the project has already suffered economic and financial damage, and the drawing of European funds is also seriously threatened. With respect to conversations with Hungary regarding cooperation on the second track project, the state secretary explained that the starting points for the initiation of official discussions are still being negotiated, and will be presented to the public shortly, i.e. immediately after they are harmonised on both the Slovenian and Hungarian sides. He again emphasised that the international treaty with Hungary will not affect the concession agreement, the concession area and the ownership of Luka Koper (the Port of Koper), and any eventual Hungarian collaboration will not affect the interests of Luka Koper as the concessionaire in the port of Koper.