null Finland applies for EU financial assistance for transport projects
Finland applies for EU financial assistance for transport projects
Finnish operators are applying for financial assistance for route and transport projects from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The application process is a so-called blending call in which entirely state-funded projects are ineligible for assistance. A blending call means that projects are required to involve financing in the form of private loans and generate returns on them. The total amount of support applied for is EUR 21.32 million.
The State of Finland participates in the applications concerning the improvement of the Vuosaari Harbour fairway and the Kouvola Rail-Road Terminal. The State is involved in the projects as the owner of the infrastructure and as a co-financer. The Cabinet Finance Committee adopted a favourable opinion on the applications on 28 June.
In the Vuosaari, the aim is to deepen the Vuosaari Harbour basin and the incoming fairway in order to provide larger, fully loaded ships with access the harbour. The fairway draught and harbour basin will be deepened from the current depth of 11 metres to 13 metres. Deepening the fairway will give modern container ships access to the harbour, removing a bottleneck for foreign trade. The total amount of support applied for the project is EUR 6.71 million, of which the central government’s share would be EUR 2.49 million. The project is coordinated by Port of Helsinki Ltd. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is a project partner, and the Finnish Transport Agency is the project promoter.
A total amount of support applied for the Kouvola Rail-Road Terminal is EUR 7.72 million. The funding is to be used to build an open access railway terminal and to enable intermodal transport as well as cargo handling for extra-long trains. The project’s aims include facilitating the smooth operation of the logistical chain and improving the operating conditions of rail transport. Funding for the project is applied jointly by the City of Kouvola and the State of Finland.
Other projects applying for funding are Finavia’s multimodal travel centre at the Helsinki Airport and the project MEGA-E: Metropolitan Greater Areas – Electric involving Fortum Corporation. At the Helsinki Airport, the objective is to improve land transport connections by making it easier to switch from one mode of transport to another. The MEGA-E project, on the other hand, focuses on developing a charging station network that would cover 16 countries and be independent of the automotive industry. The objective is to enable a shift to the use of electrical energy in transport.
In 2014–2020, the CEF Transport programme will invest in improving the European transport infrastructure, bridging missing links and removing bottlenecks.
According to the indicative timeline released by the European Commission, the decision on granting CEF funding will be made in May 2018. Before this, steps will be taken to carry out an eligibility check of the projects, along with external and internal evaluations and a consultation of the CEF Coordination Committee.
Lassi Hilska, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 40 543 6573