BUSINESS

EUR 1 billion a year from fuel excise taxes will be allocated to highways



According to statements made by PM Ponta, four stretches of highway measuring 105 kilometers in length will be commissioned in 2014.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated yesterday that Romania has 500 kilometers of highway, 230 kilometers of which have been inaugurated by the current government administration. “The important thing is to speed up the already on-going projects and get private investors involved in the building highways,” Ponta said, as noted by romanialibera.ro.
The PM also stated before USL parliamentary groups that between EUR 750 million and EUR 1 billion per year will be allocated to building highways, and the Parliament and government must decide each year where to direct this additional resource, according to Mediafax. Ponta suggested to USL MPs they should formulate a bill draft on highway construction strategies, which would then be voted by the Parliament, thus binding future administrations to continue already on-going projects.
The Chief Executive pinpointed four financing sources for TEN-T Cohesion (EUR 3 billion for 2013-2020), TEN-T Regional Development (EUR 1.8 billion for 2014-2020), concession/PPP (private funds, and no more than 49% in budget funds), and the Romanian state (through a EUR 750 million annual fund created after the fuel excise tax indexation). According to the PM, the decision regarding new stretches of highway will be made through public consultations for the first time. Around 16 Romanian towns (Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, Constanta, Craiova, Brasov, Galati, Ploiesti, Oradea, Braila, Arad, Pitesti, Sibiu, Bacau, and Targu Mures) will be linked via highways by 2022. “As far as cohesion funds are concerned, we can’t direct the money where we want to; we must take into account what the EU perceives as transport material,” Victor Ponta continued. Two stretches of highway can be financed through regional development funds – between Sibiu and Brasov, and Brasov and Bacau, the PM pointed out, underlining that “by 2018, we can create links between all the regions of the country with funds currently at our disposal.”
Traffic on one stretch of Brasov’s beltway, open as of today
Today, CNADNR (the Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads) will open a new stretch of the Brasov beltway. Paperwork for two sections of the bypass option is waiting to be approved by ANRMAP (the National Authority for Regulating and Monitoring Public Procurement). The overall value of the contract is RON 97.5 million (VAT non-included), 85 per cent of which comes from non-reimbursable financing through European funds, while the remaining amount is provided by the state budget.
The respective stretch of highway includes four passageways of lengths varying between 85 and 132 meters, as well as a 26-meter long bridge. The link with the town’s street network will be carried out through a roundabout junction.
The final offer for Comarnic-Brasov highway, a key project carried out by a partnership between the private and public sectors will be submitted on December 9. Other projects that could be financed through PPP are Cormanic-Ploiesti, Pitesti-Craiova, and Suplacu de Barcau-Gilau. PM Ponta also stated four stretches of the Timisoara-Lugoj highway measuring a total of 105 kilometers will be commissioned by the end of the year. “Sebes-Turda – we can build Turda-Targu Mures highway. Construction work could be initiated in January.” Other stretches of highway that can be financed through cohesion funds are the sections between Ungheni and Targu Neamt, and Roman and Bacau. Three more stretches could be built, which could be auctioned and initiated in 2014 – Pitesti-Ramnicu Valcea, Craiova-Calafat, and Bucharest-Alexandria.

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