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Second CEF grant agreement for Rail Baltica signed

background1EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), RB Rail AS, the JV of the three Baltic states, the Ministry of Economics and Communication of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Lithuania have signed the CEF grant agreement under the with a total value of EUR 225 million  for the construction of the Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica railway. The CEF contribution will be of a maximum amount of 191 million euros which is 85% of total eligible costs.

In Estonia, the financing of total value nearly EUR 13 million (CEF contribution –  nearly EUR 11 million) is allocated for studies on the implementation model for the construction logistics, on Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica general power supply system’s improvement as well as particularly on Pärnu freight terminal. The most of the allocated funds will go for actual construction of the tramline link between Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica Ülemiste Terminal and the Tallinn Airport where works started already in 2016.  Also, feasibility study including spatial and technical analysis and technical design will be developed for the light rail or tram connection from Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica Ülemiste Terminal towards the Old City Harbour, the central passenger harbour in Tallinn, and one more separate study will examine the location for additional freight station in Muuga Port area.

In Latvia, the financing of nearly EUR 0.6 million (CEF contribution – nearly EUR 490 thousand) will be used for a conformity assessment of the Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica railway infrastructure with air navigation infrastructure and services particularly in regards to the Riga International Airport as well as archaeological studies along the planned route.

Moreover, in Lithuania approximately EUR 211.5 million (CEF contribution – nearly EUR 180 million) will be used for starting of construction works on at least 55 km long section Kaunas-Panevezys-Lithuanian/Latvian state border. Also, it is planned to carry out a study on upgrade for the already built railway line of European standard 1435 mm gauge (in the section from Polish/Lithuanian state border to Kaunas) to meet the Global Project standards. In addition, the allocated money will cover the expenses to develop a plan for the straightening and speed increase in the mentioned section and actual installation works of necessary the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) upgrades together.

According to both Grant Agreements on the EU co-financing of the construction of Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica, the CEF contribution for the project’s activities in total is nearly EUR 633 million of which Estonia could receive around EUR 186 million, Latvia –  around EUR 238 million  and Lithuania – around EUR 203 million.

The joint venture RB Rail AS is the central coordinator for the Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica project. It submits proposals for the CEF grants for the Rail Baltic/Rail Baltica global project on behalf of the beneficiaries – the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Latvian Ministry of Transport, and the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and Communications. INEA sees the joint venture as one to provide information, reports, accountability and relevant timing for all the CEF activities.  The beneficiaries, on the other hand, receive their earmarked CEF funding from RB Rail AS and ensures that the implementing bodies are able to use the said finances for their activities.

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