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Railway projects proceed – approval of shareholder agreements of two project companies is postponed

Railway projects proceed – approval of shareholder agreements of two project companies is postponed

Press release 15.03.2019 14.02 fi sv en

Railways (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications can continue the preparations for the railway project companies promoting the Suomi-rata (“Finland rail line”) and Turun tunnin juna (“high-speed Helsinki-Turku rail line”), but the shareholder agreements of the companies will be approved by the next Government.

Consequently, the establishment of the subsidiaries of Nordic Railways Ltd (Pohjolan Rautatiet Oy) promoting the “Finland rail line” and the “high-speed Helsinki-Turku rail line” will be postponed and decided by the next government. However, Nordic Railways Ltd may establish the Rail Baltica company, a rolling stock company and a real estate company. This was the result of a discussion between Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner and Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Pöysti on 14 March 2019.

Phases of the preparation

On 1 February 2019, the Government's Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy supported the proposal by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to establish a limited liability company wholly owned by the state in order to comprehensively develop the railway sector and promote large-scale rail transport investments. The company was to later set up subsidiaries.

In accordance with the Government decision, the Ministry of Transport and Communications founded Nordic Railways Ltd (Pohjolan Rautatiet Oy) on 14 February 2019. No subsidiaries have yet been set up.

On 21 February 2019, the Government decided to authorise the Prime Minister’s Office to provide capital for Nordic Railways Ltd. The capitalisation was carried out on 28 February 2019.

Cities have also been involved in promoting the railway projects.

“Negotiations on the shareholder agreements of the subsidiaries promoting the “Finland rail line” and the “high-speed Helsinki-Turku rail line” have already been conducted with the cities of Helsinki, Tampere, Vantaa, Espoo and Turku. The shareholder agreement of the “Finland rail line” would have made the accession of Hämeenlinna, Riihimäki and other cities to the agreement possible,“ says Minister Berner.

“Total funding from the state and municipalities for the starting of the companies would have amounted to EUR 30 million for the “Finland rail line” and EUR 20 million for the “high-speed Helsinki-Turku rail line”,” Berner says.

“Eastern rail line” also discussed

The project company model was intended to be used in efforts to speed up the “Eastern rail line” too.

“With regard to the “Eastern rail line”, the Regional Councils had already reached an understanding. Progress had also been achieved in the discussions with the cities involved. They include Porvoo, Kouvola, Lappeenranta, Imatra, Joensuu, Mikkeli, Pieksämäki, Kuopio, Iisalmi and Kajaani,” Berner says.

Inquiries:

Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications, interview requests should be addressed to Communications Director Susanna Niinivaara, tel. + 358 40 081 6187

Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General (preparatory work by public officials), tel. + 358 40 078 8530