Over €350 million awarded to Rail Baltica in first call of new financial period

Rail Baltica have been awarded €350 million by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency in the first call of the new financial period 2021-2027.

A publicity photo of a Rail Baltica train

Credit: Rail Baltica

The Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail AS, on behalf of the project’s beneficiaries the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, announced that more than €350 million will be awarded to Rail Baltica in the first call of the new financial period 2021-2027. That total, in combination with the national co-financing from the three Baltic States, now exceeds €400 million.

The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) received 399 proposals, for a total of €14 billion of requested co-funding. Out of these 135 project proposals were selected for funding of a total €5.4 billion across all EU Member States. The amount allocated to the Rail Baltica project is the third largest among all projects.

The Grant Agreement, which is planned to be signed in Q3 of 2022 will include the following activities:

  • Remaining Rail Baltica mainline designs in Lithuania, including for the section between the Polish and Lithuanian state border and Kaunas urban node, Kaunas urban node, the mainline section between Kaunas urban node and Vilnius urban node, and design of Vilnius urban node
  • Start of construction works in Rail Baltica mainline on the priority section in Latvia near the Latvian/Lithuanian border and development of detailed technical design for the Construction base in Skulte infrastructure maintenance facility
  • Construction of substructure and associated elements on the Rail Baltica mainline in Estonia, including Ülemiste operational point and design works for capercaillie mitigation measures from Pärnu to the Estonia/Latvia border
  • Activities aimed to ensure cross-border dimension and technical interoperability, including Notified Body (NoBo) and Assessment Body (AsBo) assessment services for Design and Construction works, design author supervision of detailed technical design implementation during construction, supervision of construction works by Resident Engineer (FIDIC), as well as analysing the relevant models for the cross-border section construction procurement. Also, an activity dedicated to climate proofing methodology development and screening proofing document, including verification process, is recommended for financing.

“Over the last years the Baltic states have proven the commitment for delivery and progress, design works are progressing in 640km of the 870km Rail Baltica line, prioritising completion of works in sections chosen for construction, and the design and design supervision procurements for the Lithuania/Poland border have been launched,” Agnis Driksna, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO at RB Rail AS, said. “The first construction works are progressing in all states in some of the most complex elements of the mainline, and construction procurements have been announced allowing further large-scale main line construction works to commence when designs and land acquisition is completed.”

Given that this application was submitted based on the conditions defined in the summer of 2021, the next financing call in 2022 is expected to reflect funding conditions and necessary flexibility to accelerate particularly mature and EU-level strategic activities in the post-24 February 2022 situation. The activities applied for but not receiving financing under the 2021 Call and will be applied in the next call.

“This first grant under the new Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027 shows the continuation of the Commission’s support to the project, which has become more important than ever in the current geopolitical situation,” Catherine Trautmann, European Coordinator for the North-Sea Baltic TEN-T Corridor, said. “It will allow the project to continue its smooth implementation. As the maturity of the project will increase further, we expect further applications for funding in the next call for proposals.”

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