Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic and Director of the EU Innovation and Networks Executive Agency Dirk Beckers signed today an Agreement on adaption of the hydro power plant Djerdap 1 navigation lock.
A statement released by the Government reads that Dirk Beckers expressed satisfaction over the fact that Innovation and Networks Executive Agency funded a project for the first time in Serbia.
“Sustainable water transport is one of our key goals. We are happy to see Serbia join the family of countries eligible for Connecting Europe Facility funding. I believe the project will contribute to development of economy for the benefit of all citizens of Serbia,” Beckers said.
“After nearly a half a century, we will reconstruct the navigation lock at Djerdap for which today we signed a donation worth EUR14 million. The importance of this is shown by the fact that, once the reconstruction is completed, the number of ships passing through the lock will be increased from 6,000 to 9,700 a year,“ Minister Mihajlovic said.
Deputy Prime Minister said that this was the agreement marked the beginning of much greater investment in water corridors in Serbia.
“The goal of the Government and Ministry is to reduce the time ships spend in ports and customs and to speed up the flow of goods. The volume of current investment in water transport stands at EUR280 million and includes the reconstruction of Smederevo port, rehabilitation of Sava waterway and a project aimed at increasing efficiency of waterways signalization,” she said.
Mihajlovic recalled that a year ago she met with European coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Corridor Karla Peijs, with whom she discussed the importance of water corridors in Serbia.
“We have proven that we are capable of yielding results in a short period of time. Next year, we will launch a public call and start the implementation and in two years, we will have a new navigation lock at Djerdap hydro power plant,” Minister said.
The signing of the agreement was also attended by European Coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Corridor, Karla Peijs.
“This is a historic day, as we build another link between Serbia and the EU. I am happy with everything we have done in the past year. Once the project is completed, I expect tourists to flock here and become acquainted with the magic of Danube,“ Karla Peijs said.