Bechtel secures UK loan for 5G Serbia motorway

Driving near Preljina, Serbia (Ванилица/CC BY-SA 4.0)
A joint venture between US engineer Bechtel and Turkish contractor Enka has agreed €430m loan guarantee with UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, to build a 112km 5G motorway in Serbia.

The dual carriageway will link the central Serbian towns of Pojate and Preljina, and will connect to the north-south motorway running between Hungary and North Macedonia. It will also link with trans-European corridors X and XI, which connect Austria with Greece and Italy with Rumania.

Work on the project, first announced in 2019, involves a major flood defence system.

The guarantee, announced during the UK government’s Global Investment Summit in London, is the first export credit deal to be concluded by UKEF for Serbia’s Ministry of Finance.

UKEF estimates the project will create value worth €150m to the UK economy, as well as promoting investment in local communities.

Brendan Bechtel, Bechtel’s chairman, said: “At a time of post-Covid-19 recovery, this investment in the supply chain will benefit both the UK and Serbian economies, and will also enable Bechtel to continue to grow our partnerships in both countries.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK international trade secretary, said: “This partnership between Bechtel and UKEF will boost UK exports, helping us build back better from the pandemic.”

Image: Driving near Preljina, Serbia (Ванилица/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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