The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) has entered an additional cross-border grant agreement relating to funding for Rail Baltica’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

CINEA is a joint venture between RB Rail, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.

The agreement’s total budget stands at $22.86m (€19.7m).

Of this, CEF will contribute a maximum of $19.38m (€16.7m) or 85% of total eligible expenses.

The governments of the Baltic states will fund the remaining 15%.

This grant agreement covers activities involving the design of the Kaunas infrastructure maintenance facility and railway infrastructure in the station area (Phase I) in Lithuania.

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By GlobalData

It includes design modifications to facilitate Riga Node operational developments in Latvia, as well as the modification of Riga Central Station railway’s detailed technical design on the basis of the Rail Baltica operational plan in Latvia.

Additional activities that form part of the agreement include Parnu County planning support in Estonia and a study of the Cekule site, which will involve the identification of unexploded ordinance (UXO) in the former military area of Latvia.

The IT architecture development strategy and joint Rail Baltica chainage and geodetic reference network development study across the Baltic countries will receive funds.

Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail management board chairperson Agnis Driksna said: “The additional Connecting Europe Facility and Baltic states funding not only once again reconfirms the strong commitment of the EU and Baltic partners to this unique cross-border project, but will also enable us to finalise the remaining planning stage works and accelerate the global project delivery.

“It also includes several important studies, such as delivering the next generation cost-benefit analysis and business plan for Rail Baltica. Finalisation of the already started design-type activities for railway facilities and mainline to reach readiness for construction remains the utmost priority between project partners.”

Under the 2014 -2020 EU Multiannual Financial Framework period, seven grants designed under the EU funding instrument CEF have been signed for the construction of the Rail Baltica conventional railway infrastructure.

Along with the earlier grant agreements, Rail Baltica has so far obtained nearly $1.32bn (€1.14bn) from the EU and national funds.

In July this year, RB Rail signed a contract with an international consortium to deliver recommendations to the Rail Baltica project to promote long-term value creation, particularly around its seven international railway stations.