European Union port hinterland connections are set to get a EUR13.1 billion (USD14.5 billion) boost under the European Commission’s largest-ever transport infrastructure investment.
The plan comprises 276 projects. Major rail and inland waterway links are the main beneficiaries, but also included are port upgrades, notably for LNG distribution, and ‘sea motorways’.
Transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said, “Today, I am very pleased to propose the largest investment plan ever made by the EU in the transport area. This unprecedented investment represents a major contribution to the commission’s agenda of growth and job creation.”
The projects have been selected by the commission following a call for submissions last September. They include major infrastructure schemes such as the Rail Baltic high-speed rail network, the Brenner Tunnel link between Italy and Austria, the Seine-Schelt inland waterway link between France and Belgium, the port of Rotterdam’s Caland Bridge upgrade, and the Fehmarn Belt fixed link between Denmark and Germany.
Among port projects are an inland waterway access to the port of Le Havre’s Port 2000 container complex, the port of Dublin’s Alexandra Basin redevelopment scheme, a new maritime lock at the port of Amsterdam, the Calais Port 2015 development plan, and the port of Frederikshavn’s Nordic Maritime Hub.
The list of projects is to be submitted for adoption to the Connecting Europe Facility Committee on 10 July, with project grant signings later this year.
The European Union, which will contribute 20-85% of overall project costs, says its funding will lead to overall investment totalling EUR28.8 billion after additional public and private financing are taken into account.
Creation of the trans-European transport network, into which many of the projects will fit, could create up to 10 million jobs and increase the EU GDP by 1.8% by 2030, Bulc said.