The European Commission on Tuesday made an official decision in the third round of applications to allocate €110.5 million to the Rail Baltic railway project. The funding agreements will be signed in November at the latest.
"Member states of the European Union approved the funding decision presented at the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) on July 6 to allocate €2.7 billion for 152 important transport projects," European Commission spokesperson Victoria von Hammerstein-Gesmold told BNS. "After the approval, the European Commission on July 25 made an official decision to implement the [co-financing] decisions made in work programs lasting one year or several years.
"The Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) has drawn up grant agreements for the recipients of the funding for individual projects, the signing process of which will start now and last until November," von Hammerstein-Gesmold said.
Of the €110.5 million earmarked for Rail Baltic, €98.4 million will go to Lithuania, approximately €7 million to Latvia and €5.2 million to Estonia.
The majority of the European Commission's assets, or €1.8 billion, will be directed into the development of the European railway network. All projects chosen for funding were chosen during competitive project competitions which were launched on Oct. 13, 2016. Altogether 349 applications in the sum of €7.5 billion were submitted.
In the two funding rounds so far, the three Baltic states and their joint venture RB Rail AS have received CEF co-funding for the construction of the Rail Baltic railroad worth €765 million in total. CEF funding is expected to cover up to 85 percent of the project's total costs, with the financial support amounting to roughly €633 million.
The Rail Baltic project, which is to extend from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border, seeks to establish a direct railway connection between the Baltic states and the European railway network enabling speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour for passenger trains and 120 kilometers per hour for freight trains.
Editor: Aili Vahtla