By Eurasia Business News – November 28, 2020

The French giant was awarded the contract for the first phase of the construction of metro line 1 in Belgrade, Serbia. The line 1 budget amounts to EUR 1.8 billion. Alstom was in competition with Chinese state corporations.

Alstom was competting with Chinese state corporations over the new metro of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The economic growth in 2020 is forecast to contract by 3% because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit : Pixabay

French rail giant, Alstom won two major contracts this month

The group won the contract for the first phase of the construction of metro line 1 in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. 

Franck Riester, the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, signs this Thursday an intergovernmental agreement with the Serbian Minister of Finance, in the presence of the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic. 

The metro contract is worth EUR 4.4 billion. This budget is divided between line 1, for 2.3 billion, and line 2 for the balance.

The agreement between France and Serbia organizes French funding for the first phase of the Line 1 project, estimated at EUR 1.8 billion, in order to build 16.5 km of tracks and 18 stations. This first financing amounts to EUR 534 million, via a loan from the Treasury worth EUR 80 million and private loans guaranteed for the balance. This bilateral agreement paves the way for Alstom to officially submit its commercial offer in early 2021.

Belgrade has yet to award the civil engineering contract, which should go to China’s Power Construction Corporation (PowerChina). In this case, France has come a long way. China had taken advantage of a cooling of Franco-Serbian relations to submit in April 2019 a global offer associating PowerChina with the Chinese state-owned manufacturer CRRC. But the official visit of the French president Emmanuel Macron in Belgrade in 2019 and the trip of the Serbian president to Paris in summer 2020 have strengthened the relations between the two countries and have contributed to this industrial success.

Alstom has also won a tender worth EUR 700 million against three other candidates (German Siemens, the Italian-Japanese group Ansaldo-Hitachi and the Spanish CAF – Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles – associated with the French Thales) for the construction of the third metro line in Toulouse, the capital of the Occitanie region in Southern France.

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