Regional Broadband Infrastructure Development

Orient/East-Med Corridor: Construction of Rail Corridor VIII in North Macedonia, Kumanovo - Kriva Palanka Sections

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Project Financing

WBIF Grant WB5-MKD-TRA-01 € 1,500,000
EBRD Loan € 76,600,000
WBIF Grant WB7-MKD-TRA-03 € 2,700,000
Beneficiary Contribution Own Contribution € 500,000
EBRD Loan € 114,800,000
WBIF Grant WB7-MKD-TRA-02 € 2,700,000
WBIF Grant WB11-MKD-TRA-01 € 3,000,000
WBIF Grant WB-IG02-MKD-TRA-01 € 70,000,000
Other TA External Grant € 800,000
Own contribution Own Contribution € 8,331,000
Other TA grant External Grant € 825,000
Total € 281,756,000
Total Grants € 79,900,000
Total Loans € 191,400,000

Project Description

The Orient/East-Med Corridor runs between Hamburg and Bremen in Germany and Thessaloniki and Varna in Greece and, respectively, Bulgaria. In North Macedonia, the Corridor includes an 89 km-long rail section between Kumanovo and the border with Bulgaria as well as another 103km-long rail section between Kicevo and Skopje. Plans to develop this route date back to the nineteenth century, with various segments built and/or overhauled until 2004 when all construction ceased because of a substantial shortage in funding. 

The WBIF has provided more than €82 million in grant support for technical assistance as well as construction/rehabilitation works, out of which €70 million in EU grant contribution for the construction of 34 km of railway track on the Beljakovce – Kriva Palanka section and the rehabilitation of 2 railway stations and 3 halts. The planned development includes several railway bridges and over/underpasses, 5.5 km-long tunnels and new signalling and telecommunication systems. Once complete, the new railway interconnection will shorten the railway link between North Macedonia and the Black Sea by approximately 200 km. 

The WBIF has financed technical assistance for studies as well as supervision of works associated with the planned and/or ongoing investments on Rail Corridor VIII in the country, as follows:

  • Kumanovo – Beljakovce, 30.8 km; 
  • Beljakovce - Kriva Palanka, 34 km;
  • Kriva Palanka – Deve Bair – Border with Bulgaria, 24 km;
  • Kicevo - Skopje, 103 km.


Signature of the 2017 Connectivity Agenda Grant for North Macedonia

Results and Benefits

  • facilitated international trade and transport in the region, with particular focus on the link between North Macedonia and Bulgaria
  • traffic shift from road to rail transport
  • reduced energy consumption and vehicle operation costs
  • reduced emissions and improvement of the quality of the environment
  • economic development in the North-East area of the country
  • social integration
  • Countries: North Macedonia
  • Code: PRJ-MKD-TRA-001
  • Sector: Transport
  • Lead IFI: EBRD, EBRD
  • Status: Implementation
  • Beneficiary:
Project financing split

Partner Financial Organisations

Western Balkans Partners