July 18, 2018

Baltic states sign €130m EU grant funding agreement

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The Rail Baltica project will be 870km long. The Rail Baltica project will be 870km long.

THE Baltic states have signed a third Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant agreement funded by the European Union (EU) for the construction of the Rail Baltica railway infrastructure, including a CEF contribution of up to €110m of the €130m agreement.

The EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), the Ministry of Economics and Communications of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, and the RB Rail multi-national joint venture between the three countries signed the agreement on July 13.

The additional funding, which takes the total CEF contribution up to a maximum of €683m, aims to significantly progress construction activities in Lithuania on the Kaunas - Lithuanian/Latvian border section, including the construction of a bridge over the Neris River, construction of access roads for the whole section, and the start of construction preparatory works on the Pärnu - Latvian border section in Estonia.

The funding will also be used to:

  • design an Upeslejas - Vangaži maintenance depot section in Latvia
  • complete preliminary technical design for the entire railway
  • continue the design phase for all elements of the project
  • identify infrastructure components, inputs and resources that would be more cost-efficient if procured in a consolidated fashion as a result of economies of scale
  • carry out thorough supplier market assessments to determine optimum procurement and deployment strategies, and
  • prepare for the selection of an infrastructure manager as well as to increase the maturity of the project moving towards an effective project governance setup.

The money allocated under the latest agreement has been divided among the three countries, including a contribution for RB Rail, with Estonia receiving nearly €6m, including a CEF contribution of nearly €5.1m, Latvia receiving €8m, including a CEF contribution of nearly €6.9m, and Lithuania receiving approximately €115.6m, including a CEF contribution of nearly €98.4m.

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