EIB supports transport infrastructure in Slovakia
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 320m to the Slovak government for transport infrastructure in Slovakia. The EIB funds will co-finance priority projects that will be supported by EU funds within the period 2014-2020. This loan is the second tranche of the EUR 670m EIB lending package, after a EUR 350m loan granted in 2015.
This EIB financing will be combined with EU grants from the Operational Programme for Integrated Infrastructure and the Connecting Europe Facility providing total amount of EUR 4.7 bn. The aim of this support is to build the missing sections of rail and road networks along strategic trans-European transport corridors, purchase railway rolling stock and build port infrastructure. Furthermore, the investments will focus on the development of urban tram systems, upgrading regional roads and bypasses and the implementation of intelligent transport and management systems for both road and rail.
So far, the EIB has approved 32 individual investment projects such as the modernisation of the Púchov – Žilina railway line to equip it for speeds of 160km/h as well as the construction of related infrastructure, integrated terminals and Park&Ride facilities. EIB funds will finance the modernisation of public transport in Bratislava, trams in Košice and trolleybuses in Prešov and Žilina. Further projects involve the reconstruction of a number of national roads, bridges and bypasses in Brezno and Bardejov.
Additional projects for financing include the construction of the Hričovské Podhradie – Dubná Skala D1 motorway section and of the Čadca, Bukov – Svrčinovec D3 motorway section, and the modernisation of tram tracks in Košice and of the Poprad-Lučivná railway line. Planned investments that will be considered for financing include the completion of the D1 and D3 motorways and the upgrading of national roads near Trnava, Žilina, Prešov and Košice and the further modernisation of rail infrastructure.
In addition, the EIB has contributed in the framework of the technical assistance initiative – JASPERS, to the preparation of all the major projects that will be financed under this loan and has provided general advisory to project promoters. JASPERS has supported elaboration of regional plans, including Feasibility Studies for projects in Bratislava and Košice as for example for Žilina-Košice and Kúty-Bratislava-Štúrovo railway corridors and the Bratislava railway node.
The EUR 60m loan to Slovenské elektrárne, a long-term partner of the EU bank, will support nuclear safety improvements in existing nuclear power plants. These investments will enable the Slovak electricity generation company to fulfil its obligations under EU and national legislation and will support the on-going safe operation of low carbon electricity generation capacity. It will notably implement certain measures defined in the National Action Plan for Slovakia, prepared on the basis of the post-Fukushima European Stress Tests for Nuclear Power Plants.
EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák commented: “The EIB loans signed today are significant for improving the quality of life of Slovak citizens, from a perspective of better transport infrastructure as well as energy safety. The significant lending granted for investments in transport infrastructure is also a good example of how to efficiently blend EIB financing with EU funds for the benefit of the local economy.” On the signature with the Slovenske elektrarne he added: “At the same time, we are supporting important safety improvements in the existing nuclear units in Jaslovské Bohunice and Mochovce. This will bring key benefits to the country by contributing to the safe operation of strategic and low carbon assets in the field of domestic electricity generation.”
Minister of Transport and Construction of Slovak Republic Arpád Érsek, stated: “The fact that we are signing the second Financing Agreement with European Investment Bank provides a clear evidence of the successful contracting and drawing of EU funds on transport projects in Slovakia.”
Chairman of the Board and General Director of Slovenske Elektrarne Branislav Strýček said: “Nuclear is the single largest source of low-carbon electricity in Europe. If we are serious about achieving Europe’s climate goals, we must continue to invest in nuclear power plants’ safety and efficiency. The signing of the loan clearly demonstrates the EIB’s continuing commitment to support clean, low-carbon energy production.”