MINSK - The World Bank (WB) is considering the prospects of pouring investments into Belarus’ railway sector. One of the possible investment solutions could be a public private partnership scheme.
The prospects of investing in Belarus’ railway sector were on the agenda for the latest meeting between a group of experts of the World Bank and Belarus’ National Agency for Investments and Privatization (NAIP).
During the meeting, the parties discussed how Belarus and the World Bank could expand cooperation via public private partnership (PPP) with a focus on motorway and railroad transport development.
Acting Director of Belarus’ National Agency for Investments and Privatization (NAIP) Denis Meleshkin made a presentation of Belarus’ first PPP - the upgrade of the M10 motorway. The project to finance the reconstruction of the M10 motorway via a PPP scheme has been approved by Belarus’ government.
An international contest will be announced soon to choose a private partner for the M10 upgrade project. The winner is expected to reconstruct the motorway within a 2-year period and will be responsible for road maintenance for the next 20 years. After that period, motorway ownership will be transferred to the state.
WB representatives emphasized that the bank is interested in sustaining long-term investment cooperation with Belarus on the basis of PPP schemes. In particular, WB experts have announced the launch of a large-scale survey to analyze Belarus’ infrastructural development. It will take about 18 months to complete the survey. A special area of WB interest in that survey is Belarus’ railway sector.
The WB has already implemented railway infrastructure upgrade projects in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, and hopes that a similar project in Belarus will also be just as fruitful.