The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to lend EUR 1bn to Autostrade per l’Italia for the construction of the A14 motorway. The contract, signed this morning in Luxembourg by EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco and Giovanni Castellucci, Chief Executive Officer of Autostrade per l’Italia, will be for the construction of a third lane on the A14 between Rimini and Porto S. Elpidio (Ascoli Piceno). This project comes under the TENs (trans-European networks) programme, which is one of the EIB’s priority activities, and will form part of the 743.4 km motorway link between Bologna and Taranto.

“This loan reaffirms the extent of the EIB’s commitment to infrastructure and the Italian sections of the TEN”, commented Mr Scannapieco, “and this is in line with the European Union’s policies in the transport sector and with the Italian Government’s support for a bigger role for the EIB in the large-scale infrastructure sector. It also confirms the excellent relationship that has existed for many years between the EIB and Atlantia, Autostrade per l’Italia’s parent company.”

In detail, the project to be financed by the EIB involves the construction of a new third lane in both directions along a 155 km section of the existing A14, new emergency infrastructure and additional interchanges for the links with the Adriatic Highway.

In Emilia Romagna and the Marche region five provinces (Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Ancona, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno) and numerous cities are involved. The installation of noise-reduction barriers is very important to the local communities, as the A14 is one of the busiest roads during the summer, serving as it does the major towns along the Riviera Romagnola and all the coastal resorts of the Marche, Abruzzo, Molise and eastern Puglia. Together with the parallel trunk road the “SS16 Adriatica”, the A14 is therefore very congested, especially during peak periods.

The A14 passes through a part of Italy where there are many small and medium-sized enterprises and is therefore crucial for trade flows between the Adriatic ports and a number of key European markets, in particular the market for goods between Ancona and the Balkans.

Note to editors

The European Investment Bank (EIB) supports the political and strategic objectives of the European Union by providing long-term loans for economically viable investment projects. The EIB’s shareholders are the 27 Member States of the European Union. Italy is one of the four major shareholders, alongside the United Kingdom, GermanyFrance, which all hold 16.2% of the capital. In 2007 the EIB advanced loans totalling €47.8bn, of which €41.4bn within the EU and €5.6bn to Italy, and raised €54.7bn in funds. The EIB’s financing priorities within the EU are: to support economic and social cohesion and convergence; research and innovation; to develop the trans-European networks (TENs); to provide assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); environmental protection and “sustainable communities” (urban environment); and secure, competitive and sustainable energy supplies. and

The A14 is part of TENs Corridor VIII, a total of some 1 300 km of rail networks and 960 km of road networks being developed in a west-east direction in south-eastern Europe, providing links for transport flows from the Adriatic and Ionian Seas with those of the Black Sea. In particular, TEN VIII links the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi with Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria. From the port of Durrës (Albania), the pan-European highway goes to Skopje, passing through Tirana (Albania), and then on to Sofia (Bulgaria), arriving eventually at the ports of Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea.