Construction of Montenegrin highway to start soon

Construction of Montenegrin highway to start soon

Podgorica, December 8, 2014 / Independent Balkan News Agency

By Adnan Prekic

Chinese company China Communications Construction Company and the China Road and Bridge Corporation are ready to begin construction of preference shares of the highway Bar-Boljare. Chinese companies are finishing preparations for the beginning of works and are waiting for the adoption of legislation from the Montenegrin Parliament, which is expected in the next few days.

The chinese companies that got the job for the construction of the highway Smokovac-Uvač-Mateševo are already ready. About 60 Chinese experts of various profiles are already in Montenegro and are working in the field testing and preliminary design for the priority section of the highway Bar-Boljare.

President of the Chinese company CRBC Lu Shan said that the intense work will begin immediately after the adoption of the law on the highway from the Montenegrin Parliament and the creation of the legal preconditions by the Government of Montenegro. “We are ready and we can start with the stationing of manpower, equipment and machinery in Montenegro”, said Shan. “What is at this point certain is that 100 designers are engaged on this project. Sixty of our experts, engineers and designers are already in Montenegro and are currently working on field testing and preliminary design, while the remaining 40 are in China and are working as a support to the team that is in your country. Our company has worked on a similar projects and, according to our estimates, that is sufficient at this stage”, said Shan.

The president of the company that employs 20,000  people worldwide is entirely sure that all deadlines will be met, not excluding the possibility that the job could be completed earlier. “CRBC is an international company, and when one looks at our documentation, one can assure onself that we respect all deadlines for our projects. You do not need to worry, because I’m 100 percent sure that we will finish this project within the set deadline”, Shan pointed out.

China’s Exim Bank approved a loan worth around EUR 687 million to Montenegro, in September, for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway’s priority section Smokovac-Uvač-Mateševo. Exim Bank’s preferential loan is to provide 85% or the EUR 689 million of the amount, whereas the remaining 15% (EUR 120 million) has to be provided by Montenegro. The construction works on the priority section can be expected to start by the end of 2014.

In July 2013, the government of Montenegro selected the Chinese consortium: China Communications Construction Company, and the China Road and Bridge Corporation, as the best bidders for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway, which is the priority section of the route. The offered price for the construction of the priority part of Montenegro’s greatest infrastructural project was EUR 809.58 million.

Montenegro is the only country in the region that does not have a single kilometer of highway. Construction of the highway after the restoration of Montenegro’s independence was marked as one of the most important national projects. The tender for the construction of the highway was announced in 2008 and in October 2009. The Prime Ministers of Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia have officially cut the ribbon for the construction of the highway. A section was supposed to be build by the croatian company Konstruktror, which however was unable to provide a bank guarantee for the completion of the project, which was the reason the whole deal fell through.

The highway from Bar to Boljari is 169.2 kilometers long. This will be one of the most expensive highways per km in Europe, due to the tunnels, bridges and viaducts that will make up over 40% of its total length. This highway construction is the greatest engineering construction project in Montenegro and one of the biggest projects being implemented in the European market. The route will require the construction of 42 tunnels, 92 bridges and viaducts. The average daily, or annual traffic on the existing road from Bar to the border with Serbia, in certain sections ranges from 5,100 to 8,300 vehicles with distinct seasonal annual intensity that reaches up to 20,000 vehicles.