Work on the Latvian section of Rail Baltica is set to be more expensive than had been previously estimated. On Tuesday, the Latvian government gave the go-ahead on a €3.7 billion contract for the construction of Rail Baltica's main line, reports Latvian public broadcaster LSM.
The contract covers the construction of a railway line north and south of Riga, as well as a section connecting the City of Riga to Riga Airport.
According to LSM's report, the first round of works will cost €165 million (excluding VAT). Upon conclusion of the contract, Latvia will assume state budgetary liabilities for the first round of works only, with the required funding having already been secured.
For each subsequent phase, a new government permit will need to be obtained, with construction phases commissioned as funding becomes available.
"This will only happen once building permits have been obtained, land has been purchased and there is certainty that the money will be available," said Latvian Minister for Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens.
The Rail Baltica project was initially expected to cost €5.8 billion. However, the latest estimates put the cost of construction at €7.8 billion. This only includes the construction of the main line. The According to Briškens, the money received so far is at 85 percent of the European co-financing rate.
The Rail Baltica project involves the construction of a European rail line stretching from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border, linking the Baltic states to the rest of Europe. Rail Baltica is scheduled to open in stages from 2028 – 2030.
Editor: Michael Cole