The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing five loans amounting to EUR 20 million for projects in the sectors of transport, energy and the environment in Montenegro.
A loan of EUR 7 million will finance the rehabilitation of the Bar – Podgorica – Belgrade railway line and purchasing of new rolling stock. This is the second railway project supported by the EIB in Montenegro, for which the Bank has agreed to make available EUR 34 million over the coming years. The first railway project supported by an EIB loan was successfully completed in 2006.
Another EUR 5 million loan will support the “Montenegro Water and Sanitation” programme, in the first instalment of the total approved amount of EUR 57 million. The EIB funds will finance the water and wastewater infrastructure projects of Montenegro’s municipalities. This represents the start of cooperation between the Bank and Montenegro in the environmental sector. The first part of the loan will finance the new wastewater treatment plant in Niksic, the first in Montenegro outside Podgorica. In addition, the Bank is also considering providing support for solid waste management in Montenegro, a loan for which is planned to be made available in 2009.
The loan contracts for road rehabilitation, the energy sector and air transport, which were signed with Airports of Montenegro in August, involve further funding for projects that have already been started to be implemented with the support of the EIB. In addition, the Bank provides grants for technical assistance with the implementation of road and power projects.
The current lending represents a continuation of the successful cooperation between the Bank and the Republic of Montenegro in the areas of road and railways rehabilitation, the power sector, and water and wastewater infrastructure.
The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s long-term financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment. Outside the Union, the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.
EIB financing helps Montenegro to meet the EU accession criteria and support the economic development of the country. Since 2000, the EIB has provided some EUR 80 million to Montenegro for the benefit of transport and energy projects. Additional EIB loans for these sectors as well as for environmental protection for a total amount of some EUR 160 million are expected to be implemented over the next few years. Lending to the financial sector in Montenegro started in September 2008, with a first EIB credit line to a commercial bank for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and local authorities.