The EIB has granted a EUR 200 million loan to the Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (ADIF), for the Malaga-Cordoba high-speed rail line (AVE). This 30-year loan is the first tranche of the EUR 1 billion financing, covering 47% of the total cost, foreseen by the Bank for this project.

In the presence of Ms. Magdalena Álvarez, the Spanish Minister of Public Works, the President of ADIF, Mr. Antonio González Marín and the Vice-president of the EIB, Ms. Isabel Martín Castellá, signed the loan contract today in Malaga.

This is the third high-speed train project financed by the EIB in Spain. The Bank has already financed the Seville-Madrid high-speed line and it is currently financing the Madrid-Barcelona-Figueres line.

The project consists of the design and construction of a new 155 km high-speed line linking the cities of Malaga and Cordoba. The line will have three stations (Puente Genil, Antequera and Malaga), 12 tunnels with a total length of 30 km and 36 viaducts. Works are expected to be concluded in 2007.

The Malaga-Cordoba high-speed rail link will significantly reduce the journey time between Costa del Sol and Madrid, and it will also improve mobility within Andalusia, Spain's southern region. At Cordoba, the line will connect to the existing high-speed line Seville-Madrid, and from there to Barcelona and France.

The project will contribute to Spain's economic development and to the integration of the Iberian Peninsula into the rest of Europe. It forms part of the trans-European rail network, being one of the 30 priority TENS identified by the European Council of Heads of State and Government, and it is located in Objective 1 area (Region of Andalusia). The project is co-financed by European Regional Development Funds.