Chinese interested in Belgrade-Thessaloniki canal

BELGRADE -- The Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning is preparing documentation for drafting a regional plan for the Danube-Morava-Vardar canal.

(, stock)
(, stock)

This was confirmed by Minister Milan Bačević, who spoke for the Tanjug news agency.

Investments needed for the construction of this canal are estimated at USD 15-17 billion, and USD 10-12 billion only for the section across Serbia, the minister said, noting that these estimates were made in 1970s.

Bačević underscored that the canal would be larger than the Rhine-Main or Seine-Rhone, or Oder-Vistula canals, as the Danube-Morava canal would connect all these systems.

Bačević said that he had already discussed that project with the management of one Chinese company, whose name he did not want to disclose.

The talks are also being held with some U.S. companies from Illinois, and Germany voiced interest in that capital project, that is not only of importance for the Balkans, he added.

“I expect that by the end of May next year, we will successfully complete many talks that we are holding now,” the minister stated.

The regional plan for the project which will be entitled the Belgrade-Thessaloniki canal, should cover an area of around 10,500 sq km, which is equal to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, Bačević noted.

There is a full consensus in the current government on that project, and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić received positive signals for the joint realization of these projects from senior officials of Macedonia and Greece during his visits to these countries.

He did not dismiss a possibility that the companies from the East and the West would cooperate on the project, but underlined that the most important thing is that Serbia should recognize its own interest, and national companies engage in the project as much as possible.