Alsace Region: EIB provides EUR 130 million for LGV Est high speed rail link
- Release date: 05 December 2011
- Reference: 2011-188-EN
Philippe Richert, Minister responsible for regional authorities and President of the Alsace Regional Council, and Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed on Monday 5 December 2011 at the Region’s headquarters a EUR 40 million loan agreement constituting the first instalment of a total EUR 130 million long-term loan. The agreement covers the Alsace Region’s financing needs for the next three years for carrying out phase two of the “LGV Est-Européenne” high speed rail project and modifying the rail network in north Strasbourg.
The loan agreement was drawn up on the best available market terms after three months of negotiations between the two parties. Granted by a public sector borrower, this loan will enable the Alsace Region to secure its sources of financing up to 2013 in a European environment marked by a scarcity of long-term funding.
EUR 130 million for a major European infrastructure project
Following on from the financing provided for the first phase of the “LGV Est-Européenne” project, the EIB decided to support the Alsace Region in implementing phase two of the line by granting a EUR 130 million loan. By 2016, the loan will serve to link the Lorraine high speed train station (Baudrecourt) to the Alsace high speed train station (Vendenheim) and cut journey times from Paris to Strasbourg by 30 minutes (from 2 hours 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes) and from Luxembourg to Strasbourg by 45 minutes (from 2 hours 10 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes). Costing a total of EUR 2.1 billion, the project will receive financing of EUR 236 million from Alsace’s local and regional authorities, including EUR 95 million from the Alsace Region. The first instalment of EIB funds will be drawn down in December 2011.
This EIB loan will also serve to finance modification works on the conventional network in north Strasbourg. The high speed line will connect to the conventional line from Haguenau at Vendenheim, making it possible to cross the Strasbourg railway nexus at 160 km/h.
With this new loan, the EIB is reaffirming its commitment to supporting Alsace’s economic development. It has financed several major projects, including the first phase of “LGV Est-Européenne” with a EUR 755 million loan and Strasbourg tramway – so providing EUR 1 billion for the region’s public transport system alone. Nationwide, as the leading investor in the sustainable public transport sector, the EIB has assisted eight French Regions with their railway refurbishment projects and financed 25 tramways throughout France. High speed train lines are at the heart of its action: in 2011, the EIB financed the “Sud Europe Atlantique” line with a EUR 1.2 billion loan and the Brittany-Loire line with a EUR 552 million loan, in keeping with its priority of fostering sustainable public transport and substantially reducing urban pollution and CO2 emissions. Over the past ten years, EIB loans for urban transport have totalled more than EUR 4 billion in France and EUR 23.7 billion in the EU as a whole.