The Slovenia Times

Memorandum signed to build Ljubljana passenger terminal

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Ljubljana - Public and private investors, including the government, signed a memorandum in Ljubljana on Tuesday to cooperate in the construction of a EUR 387 million passenger terminal in Slovenia's capital, also known as Emonika.

Welcoming the step, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said Ljubljana and Slovenia deserved to have a modern coach and bus station they could be proud of, noting Ljubljana had been waiting for the project for 18 years.

In the document the stakeholders have resolved key aspects of cooperation in the project. "The goal is to build it in the shortest time possible, cost-efficiently and transparently," he said.

The project comprises a new railway station, along with appertaining track infrastructure and platforms, a coach station with a multi-storey car park and a commercial hub.

The Infrastructure Agency will see to the construction of the railway station, while the the rail company Slovenske Železnice will invest in the coach station and Mendota Invest, a company incorporated by the Hungarian bank OTP, will invest in a commercial and entertainment centre, office building and a hotel.

The Ljubljana city will develop the city part of the needed infrastructure under the zoning plan, to be financed based on the public utility charges paid by the investors.

Mayor Zoran Janković noted the project's importance for the capital and the country, thanking the government for including in the national zoning plan the option of bringing the railway partly below ground level, which he hopes he will live to see.

The state will chip in EUR 109 million, while part of public rail infrastructure will be subsidised from EU funds. The private investor will invest EUR 250 million and the railway operator EUR 28 million.

Dušan Mes, general manager of Slovenske Železnice, said part of the money would be own funds and part in the form of loans.

"We're also considering a public-private partnership with Mendota in building the car parks and coach station. We expect to take a decision on that early next year," he added.

OTP Bank CEO Sandor Csanyi said the bank would like to get involved in the development of the Slovenian economy. "We would like to invest in its future and I believe the cooperation will be successful," he said.

"We'd like to build something special, something we'll be proud of," he added, announcing spacious modern premises for shopping, entertainment and doing business.

Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Andrej Vizjak noted that a law had been adopted to remove obstacles for major investments, promising issues would be resolved on the go without unnecessary delays.

Vrtovec said the revival of the project showed the government was serious about attracting foreign investment, which "create much needed jobs, bring fresh funds and allow further development of local communities and the whole country".


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