Ljubljana – The government decided on Thursday to sign a memorandum of understanding with all key stakeholders of the Ljubljana Passenger Terminal, a public-private project that is to make Ljubljana a modern transport hub. Construction work is expected to be launched in 2022.
Apart from the state the stakeholders are national rail company Slovenske Železnice and its subsidiary SŽ-Infrastruktura, the Ljubljana municipality, as well as Mendota Invest, a company affiliated with Hungarian bank OTP, as the private investor.
The memorandum sets down cooperation on key matters related to joining the project and efficiently implementing it, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) said after the government session. The partners will then regulate further, legally-binding matters in special agreements and contracts.
Earlier in the day, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec tweeted: “After a decade of promises, Emonika – the Ljubljana Passenger Terminal is finally a reality… Construction is to begin at the start of 2022 and the entire investment is valued at some EUR 350 million.”
The new government started working on Emonika, as the project, which goes back more than ten years, was originally termed, soon after coming to power in mid-March.
In May it first annulled the 2007 decision on a public-private partnership with Hungarian-Canadian company Trigranit to facilitate splitting the project up into a commercial part and a public investment.
It then decided to take its coordination to the highest level, putting State Secretary Blaž Košorok in charge to compile a comprehensive report on how to proceed, from the technical and financial aspects.
In September, it included the upgrade of the railways infrastructure in the plan of development programmes for 2020-2023, making it eligible for state funds. At the same time, talks were under way with Mendota Invest to eliminate all the obstacles so that the public and private segments run as simultaneously as possible.
The public segment of the project entails a thorough upgrade of the Ljubljana rail infrastructure, including of the main train station, as well as a new coach station and a multi-storey car park.
The private investor will meanwhile construct a multi-purpose complex featuring a commercial and entertainment centre on a surface area of 50,000 sq. metres, an office building with a surface area of 21,800 sq. metres as well as a hotel with some 250 beds and a parking area for some 2,000 vehicles, UKOM said.