Romania’s railways and ports are two sectors to be developed in partnership with China, Romania’s Transport Minister Ramona Manescu said.
She added that the Black Sea Constanta port is a strategic facility of Romania’s and a magnet for foreign investors.
‘The Constanta Port is a strategic facility of national interest in Romania and also a facility that attracts foreign investors. We have two logistics platforms we want to continue developing because what we have developed so far in Constanta Port ware EU-funded projects but money is not enough to meet our development needs. Consequently, because the Chinese partners are also interested in construction in the port I have introduced the facility to them. They are very much interested. The two logistics platforms are very important to us. They are logistics platforms that can handle high tonnage ships, build docks for them take care of the container area and the entire logistics area and it can provide a connection between sea transportation and railway transportation. What is even mor important is that we will reclaim 70 hectares of land off the sea, which changes very much the problem,’ Manescu told Realitatea TV private broadcaster.
As far as road infrastructure is concerned, recovering the railway ring around Bucharest City is a project unveiled by Manescu at a Tuesday China—Central and Eastern Europe Economic and Trade Forum in relation to a project for a high speed train from Bucharest toVienna va Cionstanta.
‘If we start off with the project of the fast train from Bucharest to Constanta, it would be very useful for the Bucharest Ilfov area to recover the railway ring around Bucharest City. This is about of course conventional railways and the railway ring is currently underused. It is used exclusively for freight transportation but under very precarious conditions, and yet it has a very big potential,’ said Manescu.
She mentioned that there is a project for integrated transportation in the Bucharest — Ilfov area designed to increase traffic fluency.
‘This ring will allow passenger trains to run on this route. Moreover, there are 12 stations that can be refurbished to actually link Ilfov County and Bucharest City on road. Each station can be connected to tram lines, bus line of metro lines so that the current infernal traffic in Bucharest City or between Bucharest City and Ilfov County may be amended and fluidity restored between the two regions,’ she said.
Manescu added that this project is also discussed with China and when the form of the contract is finalised the deadline for its completion will also be known.
Another project introduced to Chinese investors visiting Bucharest these days regards linking the eastern province of Moldavia to the southern parts of Romania.
‘We want to link Moldavia to the southern parts of the country because there is a deficit of infrastructure on this route. The route will run from Iasi to Bucharest via Iasi, Bacau and Giurgiu, with intermediary stops. This is a conventional railway that could be electrified first of all on the portions where it has to be electrified and upgraded so that people may travel under civilised conditions at speeds of 160 km an hour and freight trains may run at 120 km an hour. That would be progress because the speed now is 60-70 km/hour and conditions are tough,’ she said.
She gave assurances that there are infrastructure projects for the province of Transylvania as well but they were not introduced to Chinese investors because talks are underway with other investors.
Manescu also said that the financial constructions for achieving these projects with China have not been established.
‘The version to be discussed in a first stage will be very small interest rates, very easy terms for the loans Romania will repay in time and in a long-term partnership with China. Moreover China is very pragmatic, business—oriented and not interested in imposing other conditions,’ said Manescu.