The agreement is signed between the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the 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.
Under the agreement, the Grant Agreement on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) share will amount to €353.9 million, i.e. a maximum of 85% of the total budget of €422.6 million allocated to the project. The governments of the three Baltic States will contribute the remaining funds.
“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,” said Morten Jensen Head of Unit at CINEA.
The Rail Baltica project is planned to be the largest infrastructure project in the Baltic region, with a length of 870 km in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The funds from this grant will be used for the approved activities covering the remaining Rail Baltica mainline designs in Lithuania, including the project for the section of the mainline "Poland-Lithuania border to Kaunas urban node". The supported funds will also be used, among other things, for a part of the compensation for land expropriation. The funding will also be used to start construction works on the Rail Baltica mainline on the priority section in Latvia near the Latvian-Lithuanian border or for the construction of the railway substructure and associated elements on the Rail Baltica mainline in Estonia.
“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”, commented Agnis Driksna, CEO and Chairperson of the Management Board at RB Rail AS.