Bechtel and Turkish partner ENKA have received a UK Export Finance (UKEF) credit of some €430 million to finance construction of Serbia’s first 5G-ready highway, the Morava Corridor (Infrastructure Corridor E-761). The Serbian government itself has invested some €210 million in the project.
The Morava Corridor, which connects the towns of Cacak/Preljina in the west with the town of Pojate further east, will run 112 kilometers and connect the industrial town of Krusevac with European Corridors 10 and 11. Construction has already begun along several sections of the route
When completed, the Morava Corridor will become Serbia’s most modern highway, enjoying the latest telecommunications innovations. Travelers will enjoy wireless internet connections and optical cables along the highway will allow for faster internet speeds throughout this part of Serbia, making the project the digital backbone of much of central Serbia.
Flooded infrastructure has historically been a major problem for roadways and bridges in this part of Serbia, and a major feature of the new highway will be its state-of-the-art flood protection system, involving a range of protective dykes and earthworks, and systems intended to reduce erosion and water pollution along the route.
The involvement of UKEF and Bechtel in Serbia signals that both the UK and the US are developing greater economic and strategic interest in Serbia, especially following a period during which China appeared to be the only global power willing to invest serious amounts of money in the country.
Project completion is scheduled for 2024.