The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financing institution for EU projects, is granting to SRWT (Société Régionale Wallonne du Transport) a EUR 75 million long-term loan to complete Charleroi’s light rail network.
The project consists of completing the central circle line, extending the Gilly line to Soleilmont and building a new northern line to Gosselies (see SRWT’s plans and presentation).
The EUR 75 million contract was signed by Michel Daerden, Budgets Minister of the Walloon Region, André Antoine, Transport Minister, Jean-Marc Vandenbroucke, Deputy Managing Director of SRWT, and Philippe Maystadt, President of the EIB.
By expanding a public transport network and helping to reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution, this project meets one of the EU’s priority objectives.
Light rail and tram systems have been a major target of EIB loans to EU cities and regions (including Athens, Madrid, Brussels, Marseille, Prague, Dublin and Budapest). Between 2002 and 2006, the Bank lent EUR 16 billion for the development of urban transport in the EU Member States.