The EBRD is lending the Romanian government €145mn – the bank’s largest loan in the country, of which a portion (€56mn) will be in Romanian lei – to boost infrastructure projects around Constanta, the port city along the country’s Black Sea coast. A part of the loan will specifically help repair key road infrastructure sections that were affected by severe floods in the country earlier this year.

The government will on-lend the loan to the state-owned National Company for Motorways and National Roads (NCMNR) to help build a new 22.9km bypass around the city, significantly reducing traffic congestion and pollution by re-routing heavy port traffic and peek seasonal tourist traffic.

It will also help upgrade 10 key bridges that cross the Danube or the Danube-Black Sea channel located on the bypass or on and adjacent to the Bucharest-Constanta motorway. Around €45mn of the loan will specifically target flood-damaged areas, including 15 bridges, and 105 national road sections.

Riccardo Puliti, EBRD director for transport, said this loan will significantly benefit many residents, tourists and businesses in Constanta. Creating the bypass will on the one hand decrease traffic levels in the city that will improve safety levels, and it will also enable businesses using the port to transport goods quicker and more efficiently, says Puliti.

Furthermore, by promptly supporting flood damaged areas in the country, the bank is reiterating its commitment to Romania, he adds.

The loan will be implemented by NCMNR, which is responsible for areas such as administration, maintenance, and operation and development of the country’s national road network. This latest project builds on previous cooperation between the bank and NCMNR, in projects supporting road infrastructure in the country.

“This EBRD loan is innovative and unique in the Romanian long-term debt market, and it demonstrates the bank’s responsiveness to client needs, says Sebastian Vladescu, minister of public finance. It also shows the EBRD’s confidence in the recently redenominated Romanian currency.”

The EBRD is the largest investor in Romania, having committed more than €2.8bn in around 150 projects.