Business news

Minister Vrtovec announces infrastructure fund

Ljubljana, 16 May (STA) - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec has announced that an infrastructure fund is in the making to finance railways and roads, and that electronic motorway toll stickers for personal vehicles will be introduced on 1 December 2021.

The ministry is working an a bill to establish an infrastructure fund to finance investments into railways and roads, which would bring some EUR 180 million a year, he said in an interview the newspaper Dnevnik ran on Saturday.

He also said the ministry and the national motorway company DARS were working on a bill needed to introduce a system of electronic motorway toll stickers for personal vehicles, and they believes the date is feasible.

"I expect the system will be similar to that for lorries and that it will rely on the existing infrastructure."

Although he is in favour of sustainable means of transport, the minister believes roads will still be needed for quite some time.

He however expects that in ten years' time, Slovenians could be encouraged to use railways to a greater degree.

As for expanding the motorway sections between Ljubljana and Domžale and Ljubljana and Logatec into a four-lane motorway, he said this would improve traffic flow, yet DARS's studies had shown it would not be enough.

The government is also thinking about transferring the management of the construction of Koper-Divača rail track onto the national rail operator Slovenske Železnice.

He said TDK2, the company in charge of managing the project, would be transferred onto the rail operator if this proved legally viable and if a study showed it would bring benefits. A decision on how to proceed should be taken soon.

As for debates on whether TEŠ6, the sixth generator at the coal-fired power station TEŠ, should be closed after it was launched only a few years ago, he believes an important factor in deciding on the closure is whether TEŠ will go into co-incineration.

He believes this could solve the problem Slovenia has with waste. He also said he was in favour of gradually reducing the use of fossil energy and increase energy efficiency.