€ 170 million EU infrastructure grants awarded

By Helen Wright25 February 2011

The European Commission has granted € 170 million to support projects upgrading transport infrastructure in the European Union (EU).

The funds are part of the EU Trans-European transport network (TEN-T) budget - an initiative which channels financial support towards important air, rail, road, and maritime transport infrastructure projects across the Member States.

Over the course of 2010, 51 projects involving 24 Member States were selected to receive funding, including the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) initiative, which received € 84,9 million in total towards improving freight routes across the sea.

MoS projects on the receiving end of grants included the construction of two liquid natural gas (LNG) filling stations for ships in Belgium and Denmark respectively. Each LNG project received € 9,6 million in funding from the initiative.

Other projects selected for TENT-T Funding included the construction of the new Harparanda rail line in Sweden, which received € 2,9 million. The project involves a stretch of track running between Kalix in the country's Norrbotten County and Harparanda, adjacent to the Finnish borer.

Polish projects supported included € 3,5 million towards a study on the modernisation and extension of the Katowice railway junction, one of the biggest rail hubs in the country.

And in Slovenia, € 1,1 million was granted to support preparation for upgrading a section of the Poljcane-Pragersko railway line, while Belgium received € 1,6 million towards rebuilding the Briegden and Oelegem I bridges across the Albert Canal.

"The funds will help Member States to build missing transport links, remove bottlenecks and increase the safety and security of transport," said Commission vice president Siim Kallas.

Mr Kallas said the projects would help the EU prepare for future transport priorities, including making transport greener, connecting Europe's east and west, and providing support to public-private partnerships.

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