CSCEC facilitates economic growth in BiH

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China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has been awarded the Enterprise of the Year Award by Bosnia and Herzegovina's Evening News, a top media outlet in the country. CSCEC was the only foreign company among the 10 winners of the prestigious award, which was given to CSCEC in recognition of its significant contributions to the progress of the Pan-Europe 5C Corridor Expressway project during the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire project had been proceeding steadily while taking pandemic prevention and control measures. The team's earnest efforts also breathed new vitality into the Sino-BiH friendship.

Fuel for economic growth in BiH

The Pan-Europe 5C Corridor Expressway project connects Budapest of Hungary and Ploche in southern Croatia through the territory of BiH. The Chaplina section in BiH stretches for 11 kilometers, including a 1-kilometer Bochtelli Bridge.

According to CSCEC's project manager Cai Lei, the Chaplina section will be a two-way four-lane expressway with intelligent management and operation. It is the first expressway and bridge built by a Chinese company in BiH. It is also a three-way cooperation project between BiH, the EU and a Chinese company. So far the foundation and small structures have completed, and tunnel construction is progressing as scheduled.

According to a project coordinator, the rich tourism resources in southern BiH remained untapped to this day largely because of the weak infrastructure. The newly constructed expressway will not only provide north-south connections, but also alleviate the transport congestions in the area. The Croatian coast will become more accessible for tourists, and the shipments of goods manufactured in BiH to freight ports will be enhanced significantly, creating more economic opportunities for exports and logistics.

Achieve utmost efficiency of production

Across the mountainous terrain of BiH, the 1.2-kilometer tunnel line cuts through a string of limestone caves and strata with fault lines. And there is a 1-kilometer section close to railway lines, making blast working even more demanding in terms of accuracy and precision. On top of these challenges is the sudden COVID -19 pandemic.

"With supports from both countries, the team did all they can to overcome the difficulties," Cai said. The project department came up with protocols and strategies at the very early stage of the pandemic, including staff training for disease control, daily disinfection, temperature monitoring, early purchase and distribution of masks, and providing ethyl alcohol and thermometers to staff and their families. The arrangements on the constructions sites evolved as the outbreak unfolded. In the end, the construction was carried out steadily without compromising the measures of containment and control.

Denis Lasic, minister of transportation and communications of BiH, said that facing the challenges posed by COVID-19, it was the joint efforts from all parties that constantly pushed the limits of production capacities and guaranteed the infrastructure construction of the Pan-Europe 5C Corridor Expressway.

New vitality in Sino-BiH friendship

BiH was one of the first European countries to join theBelt and RoadInitiative. Since then, six projects have either been completed or are under construction.

Cai said CSCEC's Pan-Europe 5C Corridor Expressway project insisted on local hiring and local purchasing, created jobs for the residents, and contributed to the local economy with large purchases of construction equipment and materials. CSCEC will continue to support the Belt and Road Initiative and breathe new vitality into collaborations between China and BiH.

Ji Ping, Chinese ambassador to BiH, also expressed his wish to see more cooperation between China and BiH in transportation infrastructure, energy, and tourism. China would like to broaden and deepen the cooperation with BiH in projects like transportation infrastructure, "intelligent city" construction and network upgrading, facilitate BiH's development and economic recovery after the pandemic, and take the Sino-BiH friendship to the next level. 

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