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May 23, 2013

NIB funds east-west railway corridor modernisation in Latvia

Latvian state railway Latvijas dzelzcels (LDz) has secured a €17m loan from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) to modernise a section of the railway's east-west transport corridor.

Latvian Railways

Latvian state railway Latvijas dzelzcels (LDz) has secured a €17m loan from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) to modernise a section of the railway’s east-west transport corridor.

The ten-year loan will be used to build a second track on the 52km Skriveri-Krustpils section of the east-west railway corridor, which connects Russia and Belarus with Latvia’s ports on the Baltic Sea.

The east-west corridor, which is part of the Trans-European network (TEN), carries a large part of the freight to and from Russia and Belarus.

According to LDz, the upgrade of the section will increase its freight capacity.

NIB president and CEO Henrik Normann said the economic effect of the loan will be the reduction of transit costs for a large region, including NIB’s member countries.

"Environmentally, the development of railway infrastructure helps crowd out fossil-fuelled road transport and improves traffic safety," Normann said.

"According to LDz, the upgrade of the section will increase its freight capacity."

LDz vice president Aivars Strakšas said the company invests its own capital and EU funds in the modernisation of Latvia’s railway infrastructure.

"International financing makes up a very substantial part of these investments," Strakšas said.

The entire project will cost about €95m; other works in the project include the renovation of stations, stops and level crossings, as well as construction of platforms and bridges over the Aiviekste and Perse rivers.

Plans also include the installation of a computerised railway signalling system and the modernisation of telecommunication and power supply systems.


Image: The NIB loan will be used to lay a second track on the 52km Skriveri-Krustpils section of the east-west railway corridor that connects Russia and Belarus with Latvia’s ports. Photo courtesy of NIB.

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