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Western Greece and Crete the epicentres of new, larges-scale infrastructure projects

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Emphasis regarding the country’s large-scale projects is now being placed in Western Greece and Crete. The completion of the new motorway network and Athens-Thessaloniki railway corridor has shifted the priorities for the creation of new infrastructure in these 2 regions.

Western Greece

In Western Greece, 1bn euros have been secured for emblematic projects, especially for the railway, as by the end of 2022 the city and the port of Patras are expected to be connected with the country’s modern, electrified network. The cost for the above works is roughly 400-450mln euros, with the design of the last section still pending. These projects are planned to be funded by NSRF 2014-2020.

Two major road projects are also in the pipeline though; the first concerns a 75-km extension of the existing Olympia Motorway, from Patras to Pyrgos. The project has been included in NSRF with 350mln euros and its construction is estimated to start in 2018. The second one is the completion of the 48-km long Aktio-Amvrakia Motorway (branch of Ionian Motorway to the Northwest), which is a phasing project. Here, a final decision for its completion is expected, putting its completion in 2021, at the latest. The cost of these works reaches 200mln euros (with a “sweep” contract). Another big project is the arrival of natural gas in the area while signatures for a Waste Treatment Plant in Ilia are  also expected very soon.

Crete

There are two very large projects in Crete with a total cost exceeding 1.8bn euros. The first is the construction of Crete’s Northern Motorway Axis (aka VOAK) from Chania to Aghios Nikolaos. The cost to Heraklion city reaches 1.1bn euros and a rough estimate for the additional section to Aghios Nikolaos is another 200mln euros. The tender for the construction with the concession method is expected towards the end of 2018 while the construction is estimated to start in 2020.

The second, and more mature, project is the construction, also with a concession, of the New International Airport of Heraklion, in Kastelli area. The cost is about 500mln euros and will transform a large area in ​​the Prefecture of Heraklion giving new growth opportunities for tourism and services.

Especially in the case of Crete, we are talking about the launch of totally new projects, as the island indeed “suffers” from obsolete infrastructure that can not meet the ever-increasing demand. On the contrary, in Western Greece, we are mainly talking about infrastructure completion projects both for motorways and railways.

In this comparison, Sea2Sea planning, the Greek-Bulgarian railway project, in which the Greek section is considered to be the “Eastern Railway Egnatia”, has not been included as it is currrently at a very early stage.

 

Nikos Karagiannis-ypodomes.com

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