The Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corporation, the state-owned company, have won in January this year a tender for the construction of the Pelješac bridge in Croatia. On 23 April, the parties concluded a contract worth nearly 281 million euros.
The Pelješac bridge will connect the peninsula of the same name with the rest of mainland Croatia over the Adriatic, providing an alternative route to crossing the Neum Corridor – a strip of the Adriatic coastline situated in Bosnia and Herzegovina between these two parts of Croatia.
In June 2017, the European Commission declared that the European Union will spend nearly 357 million euros to build the bridge. The construction of the Pelješac bridge, for which the EU will contribute 85% of the cost, will greatly benefit tourism, trade and will reinforce the territorial cohesion of the South Dalmatia region with the other part of the country.
„We believe that this project will contribute effectively to a bilateral pragmatic cooperation between China and Croatia” – stressed Mr. Lu Kang, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China just after signing the agreement.
On July 7, during the „16 + 1” summit in Sofia Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković pointed out that the project is a synthesis of the idea that 16+1 is a format that exploits possibilities of cooperation and not one that causes division. Speaking of the type of future projects, the Croatian Prime Minister said that „now we need a step forward in the field of railway infrastructure and seaports. (…) We want to develop our cooperation with China in that area”.
The Peljesac Bridge is the biggest project of national importance in Croatia, financed the European Union and built by a Chinese company. The Pelješac bridge will be 55m high and 2.4 km long, with four lanes. According to the information provided by Hrvatske ceste, the Croatian motorway operator, the construction period will last approx. 36 months.
Source: http://ec.europa.eu, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn, www.total-croatia-news.com