Bechtel selected to build two new motorways in North Macedonia

The Bechtel-ENKA and North Macedonian government teams at the signing of the agreement to build two new motorways.

Bechtel-ENKA partnership will place high priority on hiring North Macedonians and using local suppliers.

Bechtel and joint-venture partner ENKA have been selected by the Government of North Macedonia to build two new motorways in the country.

The first, known as Corridor 8, is an east-west route connecting the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea through Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The second, Corridor 10d, is a key component of the Pan-European Transport Corridor 10, connecting Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Greece. The new motorways will be 110 kilometres (68 miles) in total and construction will start in 2023.

“The construction of these motorways is of incredible importance for the improvement and modernisation of our infrastructure,” said North Macedonia prime minister Dimitar Kovačevski at the signing ceremony yesterday. “These two corridors will create a vital link for our regional transport system and make the country more visible for foreign investment,” he said.

First deputy prime minister Artan Grubi agreed, saying: “This is the largest infrastructure project in our country and we are extremely grateful that, two years after signing the memorandum with Bechtel and ENKA, we have completed all the necessary procedures and negotiations to sign the contract and begin the construction work in the upcoming weeks.”

Mark Allison, general manager of Bechtel’s Heavy civil infrastructure business, said: “We are delighted to work with the North Macedonian government on this exciting new transport project that will improve connectivity in the region and expand the local economy. Bechtel-ENKA has a long history of successfully delivering complex motorway projects in the region, and we take our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards very seriously.”

The contract awarded to the Bechtel-ENKA partnership will place a high priority on hiring North Macedonians and using local suppliers to successfully deliver the motorway projects. This approach will not only benefit local employment in the short-term, but training programmes will support a long-term supply of construction workers for those communities investing in further infrastructure.

The joint team have previously earned international honours for work on Kosovo’s Route 7 motorway and have successfully delivered major infrastructure projects in the region since the 1990s, including motorways in Albania, Croatia, Turkey and Romania. Together, they have built more than 28,000 kilometres (17,400 miles) of highways and roads, 100 tunnels and 26 major bridges.