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Lithuania Triumphs in Rail Baltica's Initial EU Funding Phase

Lithuania Triumphs in Rail Baltica's Initial EU Funding Phase
photo: LTG Infra / Public domain/Rail Baltica in Lithuania
14 / 05 / 2024

The European Commission has confirmed that Lithuania has successfully implemented the first €83 million European Union (EU) funding contract for the Rail Baltica project.

The bulk of the investment—85% (€70.5 million)—was financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The eligibility of the investments made and the costs incurred have been confirmed following the achievement of the project's objectives.

This is the first such completed contract in the Rail Baltica project. The contract, which ran from 2015 to the end of 2022, covered the construction of the line at the Kaunas junction, a feasibility study for the electrification of the line from Kaunas to Poland, and a project for land acquisition works for the construction of the line from Kaunas to Latvia.

Source: LTG Infra / Public domain

"This is a significant message from the European Commission, which shows that we are reliable partners, proving that we are capable of managing the project and ensuring efficient use of funds. In addition, the successful use of CEF funds increases the maturity and importance of the Rail Baltica project at the EU level, which is important for the subsequent funding and for the support of the project at the EU level, especially in light of the accelerating construction works and other works that are still to come," said Egidijus Lazauskas, CEO of the LTG Group.

One of the most important parts of the completed project was the construction work at the Kaunas hub, where almost 15 km of European standard railway has been built. The work has enabled the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal to be connected to the European rail transport network in 2021. This will make KIT the furthest eastern point on the network, which can also be reached by NATO equipment on the European track.

"The works envisaged in the contract, although small in scale, are the first Rail Baltica railway construction works, the importance, significance, and added value of which, both in terms of economics and security, are enormous for Lithuania," says Vytis Žalimas, head of LTG Infra, the LTG Group company responsible for the project.

The project also financed a land acquisition project from Kaunas towards Latvia, where 1,245.9 hectares of land are to be purchased, as well as a feasibility study for the electrification of the Polish-Lithuanian border-Kaunas (KIT) railway section.

According to Žalimas, the successful implementation of the EU Treaty is an important message for all the Baltic States and an example of the concrete results of the CEF financing instrument. The Rail Baltica project is set to grow in scale, with the European Commission allocating an additional €928 million for the development of the European railway line in the Baltic States last year, of which Lithuania's share is €394 million. This is the largest funding Lithuania has ever received from the Connecting Europe Facility.

Source: LTG Infra Press Releases