Business News

Minister Expects No Major New Infrastructure Projects This Year

Ljubljana, 23 February (STA) - Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister Zvonko Černač has put a damper on expectations by businesses that the state would kick-start the economy with infrastructure spending, telling Finance that there is simply not enough money to do that this year.

Even if there was money, new projects could not be launched this year since zoning acts have not been finalised and land has not been bought yet, Černač told Thursday's edition of Finance.

The biggest projects that the state had been planning are the construction of a second track on the key rail section between the Port of Koper and the Divača hub, and building a new pier in Koper.

Černač expects the rail investment to be launched next year, as a national zoning plan needs to be adopted and land bought from private owners.

"I believe we will speed up the procedures and first construction work will start next year," he said.

Černač said public-private partnerships will have to be concluded if there will not be enough money for the rail upgrade.

"But we cannot seriously talk to investors until we have completed the administrative part and [acquired] the land. We will speed up these processes."

Private investors will also be invited to participate in the construction of the port infrastructure and the final missing sections on the motorway network, such as the link between the border crossing Jelšane (SW) and the Ljublana-Koper motorway.

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