Rail Baltica project signs 353 million euro grant agreement

On October 21 the Rail Baltica joint venture of the three Baltic States, RB Rail AS, announced the signing of an additional cross-border Grant Agreement on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding for the Rail Baltica global project.

The total budget under this agreement is 422.7 million euros, out of which the CEF contribution will be 353.9 million euros or a maximum 85%, whereas the remaining financial contribution will be provided by the governments of the three Baltic States.

The agreement was signed between the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania and Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS.

“Today we live in times of increased economic uncertainty resulting from geopolitical crisis, continuous price fluctuations and volatile construction material availability, and it is more important than ever to ensure tight cross-border cooperation between the partners in the three Baltic countries to deliver the Rail Baltica and maintain its position amongst the top priority high-speed infrastructure projects in the European Union. Rail Baltica is no longer a necessity, it is an obligation, and the additional financing granted will allow us to meet the critical targets and further advance with Rail Baltica construction and delivery as a united Baltic project,” said Agnis Driksna, CEO and Chairperson of the Management Board at RB Rail AS.

Priority tasks to be started next year, include the start of construction works on the Rail Baltica mainline on the priority section in Latvia near the Latvia/Lithuania border and development of detailed technical design for the construction base in Skulte infrastructure maintenance facility that is located on the North section in Latvia towards the Latvia/Estonia border.

“This is a Grant Agreement with a very significant budget and an impressive Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) support of almost 360 million euro, awarded for key work and design activities along the whole Rail Baltica alignment in the three Baltic States. It also shows the continued, strong EU support to the Rail Baltica global project. This is the eight CEF Action supporting the implementation of Rail Baltica and the first grant awarded to this important project in the 2021-2027 financing period. I wish the beneficiaries and the coordinator a smooth implementation and timely completion of the activities in this Grant Agreement,” said Morten Jensen Head of Unit at CINEA.

The CEF Transport programme implements the European Union’s transport infrastructure policy by supporting investments in building or upgrading transport infrastructure across Europe.

Rail Baltica is the largest infrastructure project in the Baltic States over the past 100 years. High-speed electrified railway lines of 870 km in European gauge will be built. Total costs in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are estimated to be EUR 5.8 billion, though rapidly rising construction sector costs suggest this could end up to be an under-estimate. 85% of the cost will be financed by the European Union (EU), with the remainder covered by the three countries themselves.

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