Monday, July 6, 2009

Romania gets European loan for new metro line

BUCHAREST (AFP) — Romania will get a 370-million-euro (517-million-dollar) loan from the European Investment Bank to build a new metro line in Bucharest, Transport Minister Radu Berceanu said Saturday.

"We hope that the financing for all the work will come from the bank," said Berceanu following a meeting with the vice president of the institution, Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen.

Set to cost around 700 million euros (980 million dollars), the route will link the city centre with a west suburb. The new line, the fifth in the city, will cover nine kilometres (5.5 miles) and have 14 stations.

Berceanu also said he had "finalised the details" of a 300-million-euro (420-million-dollar) loan which Bucharest is going to take from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation with the aim of constructing a sixth metro line.

He added the Japanese firm Itochu is considering working on the line, which will go to Bucharest-Otopeni airport.

Bucharest is the only Romanian city with an underground transport system and its first line was opened in 1979.

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