BELGIUM: EUR 22.5 million EIB loan for Brussels Port's Carcoke project The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's financing institution, is granting a EUR 22.5 million loan to the Port of Brussels (Port de Bruxelles - PdB) as part of a larger EUR 50 million agreement for financing PdB projects, notably the clean-up and rehabilitation of the Carcoke site, refurbishment and expansion of a multimodal logistic centre and construction of warehousing facilities along the Brussels canal.

The finance contract was concluded in Brussels on 23 September by EIB President Philippe Maystadt for the Bank and, on the other side, by the Port's President Olivier Maingain and its acting Director General, Charles Huygens. The Brussels-Capital Region has lent its support to the project and Jos Chabert, Minister for Public Works and Transport of the Brussels-Capital Region with responsibility for the Port, signed the contract guaranteeing the loan granted to the Port along with Philippe Maystadt.

This first EIB loan will mainly serve to finance the decontamination and rehabilitation of the Carcoke site. Covering some twelve hectares, this was acquired by the Brussels-Capital Region for a token sum of one euro following the liquidation of S.A. Carcoke. The Region then made the site available to PdB for a period of fifty years. Once it has been cleaned up, PdB will assume responsibility for its redevelopment and will seek to attract logistic enterprises and waterway user firms. The Carcoke site is ideally situated near the waterway. The road, which at present runs along the canal, will be realigned to enable quay walls to be built and allow firms setting up there to use the waterway. PdB's aim is to transform this industrial wasteland into a prime port location, thereby promoting the development of water-borne transport in Brussels.

The Port's facilities occupy a strategic site, close to the airport, offering fast access to the trans-European road system and to the river/sea and rail networks. These multimodal connections have helped the Port to achieve traffic growth of nearly 40% in recent years. The Port's future schemes are wholly in line with EU objectives for the development of access to trans-European networks and for safeguarding and improving the environment.