ISSN 2330-717X

Chinese Firm To Build Croatia’s Peljesac Bridge


By Sven Milekic

China’s Road and Bridge Corporation will build the controversial Peljesac Bridge in southern Croatia, designed to link Dubrovnik to the rest of the country and bypass the Bosnian coast, it was announced on Friday.

Croatia’s state roads company, Croatian Roads, announced on Friday that the China Road and Bridge Corporation is to build the Peljesac Bridge, the biggest infrastructural project in the country.

The offer from the Chinese state-owned construction company was cheaper than that of Austria’s Strabag – 279 million euros in comparison to 351 million euros.

An Italian-Turkish consortium also competed for the tender but was rejected due to an invalid bank guarantee.

The tender was opened in last September and companies had four months to present their offers.

The bridge connecting the Croatian coast with the southern Peljesac peninsula is important because it bypasses a short strip of the Bosnian coast that interrupts the continuity of Croatian and EU territory.

For this reason, the European Commission last June offered to supply up to 85 per cent of funds for construction of the bridge.

Bosnian politicians have often opposed the bridge project, claiming it will limit larger ships from coming to the Bosnian port of Neum.

China has made few big investments in Croatia so far, but Chinese companies are becoming more and more present in the rest of the Balkans.

A report by Britain’s House of Lords on UK ties to the Western Balkans published on Wednesday noted increased Chinese investments in the region.

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Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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