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Andrii Pyvovarsky: New Beskyd tunnel will expedite shipment to Europe

 Beskyd railway tunnel will speed up the delivery of cargoes to Europe. Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Andrii Pyvovarsky said on January 21 during festive events dedicated to the completion of the first phase of construction of a new double-track Beskyd tunnel on the stretch of the Beskyd- Skotarske in the Carpathian Mountains. The event was also attended by Vice Prime Minister/ Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Hennadii Zubko, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Mykola Snitko and acting Chairman of the Board of PJSC "Ukrainian Railway" Olexandr Zavgorodniy.

Now the most difficult part of the work has been completed - the upper ledge of the tunnel has been passed. Overall, the new double-track tunnel will replace the existing single track section that was built in 1886. The new tunnel will enable speeds to be increased to 70km/h and will be situated 30m south of the existing tunnel which will be retained as an emergency tunnel with three connecting portals. It will also enable to increase the capacity of this section of the route from 47 to 100 pairs of trains per day.

The tunnel is of a strategic importance, as it is part of the fifth transport corridor from Italy to the Ukraine. "The construction of the new tunnel is another project, providing an opportunity for Ukraine to realize its transit potential. Today 60% of traffic volumes are shipped through Beskyd, those transported through the western border, including transit shipment. The new tunnel will allow us to create competitive conditions for cargo transportation in this direction", explained the Minister.

The new double-track Beskyd tunnel is one of the largest infrastructure projects at the time of independence of Ukraine. The total cost of construction is estimated at nearly USD 2.2 billion. The project is being implemented on a loan basis through cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB). The budget of the first phase of construction amounted US $ 39.71 million of credit funds of the EBRD. Now there is underway the stage of preparing documents to obtain the first tranche worth EUR 5 million out of the general sum worth EUR 55 million of the EIB loan.



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