Together with the latest grant of an additional €216 million in Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) financing and national co-financing, Rail Baltic has already secured around €1.2 billion from the European Union and national funds, spokespeople for the project said on Friday.
By a July 16, 2020 vote of the CEF Committee, the Rail Baltic global project in the Baltic states was granted additional €184 million in CEF financing to be invested in the project implementation until 2024. Together with 15 percent national co-financing, the total investment amounts to €216 million euros in additional funding for the project, RB Rail AS said in a press release.
The funding was allocated in the framework of the 2019 CEF Transport Call, which is managed by the EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).
The entire eligible funding made available to cohesion countries in the call was €1.1 billion, and the competition between the cohesion countries to receive the funding was very high. In this competitive process, the Rail Baltic corridor has received the largest financial allocation or 55 percent from the total available funding of the 2019 CEF Cohesion Transport call.
In addition to the €184 million EU grant for the Rail Baltic sections in the Baltic states, €422 million was granted to the Rail Baltic sections in Poland.
According to the CEF Committee vote, the Rail Baltic global project has been allocated €128 million for construction works and €88 million for technical design and planning works.
Agnis Driksna, chairperson of the management board of the Rail Baltic joint venture RB Rail AS, said that Rail Baltic appreciates the additional financing made available for the technical design, planning and construction works.
"As a result this will provide the necessary funding for all key global project activities in this area, as well as provide maturity for the construction phase of Rail Baltic. The project is prepared to scale-up construction activities in all three countries and will apply for additional funding in the next CEF Transport Calls," Driksna said.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said that receiving additional CEF financing shows how important Rail Baltic is for Europe.
"Now we have additional funding to bring Rail Baltic closer to the people by allowing us to plan and design our regional stops. Also, we received additional funds for the construction of Muuga and Ülemiste terminals and Muuga-Soodevahe railway embankment," the minister said.
With ongoing design works on 643 km of the main line and international passenger stations, the project has reached its maturity and continues to enjoy strong political support, RB Rail AS said.
Thus, the project is in a strong position to proceed with implementation, and it will require additional funding from the next CEF Transport Calls, and in particular under the next EU multi-annual financial framework starting as of 2021, in order to complete the construction activities on time.
RB Rail AS is a joint Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian company established in order to coordinate the implementation of the Rail Baltic project: construction of the infrastructure required for a high-speed rail line from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. It is the central coordinator of the Rail Baltic project. Its areas of operation are the design, construction and marketing of the rail line.
Editor: Helen Wright