The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 552.5 million loan for the Brittany - Loire Region high speed rail line – one of France’s biggest rail construction projects. Taking five years to design and build, this new line will vastly improve access to the west of France. Journey times from Paris to Rennes will be cut to less than one and a half hours.

The EIB loan will be made available at the end of the construction period to refinance part of the loans provided by commercial banks.  It will represent 54% of the senior debt during the operating period and be accompanied by a Dailly assignment of receivables.

A little over a month after the signing of the Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail project – to which the EIB contributed EUR 1.2 billion in its biggest ever private-public partnership (PPP) operation  in France – the Bank has confirmed its ability to support large-scale trans-European network (TEN) upgrading and extension projects with innovative and competitive financing instruments. Since January 2011, it has pumped more than EUR 1.9 billion into PPPs and transport projects in France.

EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive stressed the importance of this loan: “Sustainable transport is an EU priority and a key component of economic development, cohesion and regional dynamism. Our goal is to encourage the private sector to play a greater part in financing infrastructure in order to bring about safe, efficient and environmentally responsible transport on the trans-European networks and corridors.

The EIB decided to devote at least EUR 75 billion to trans-European transport projects over the period 2004-2013. In 2010, it lent EUR 8.1 billion in support of TEN-Ts and major transport corridors. Its massive backing for innovative PPPs took the form of a Europe-wide aggregate financial commitment of more than EUR 26.8 billion between 2000 and 2010.

General press release (french)

Press pack (french)