The Rail Baltica Forum took place online on 23 April and saw 1,000 viewers from 39 countries, including suppliers, industry professionals and others interested in the rail infrastructure project in the Baltic States and its progress and plans for 2020.
The forum opened with a video address from European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, and the transport ministers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They all stressed the project’s role in helping the economy recover after the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms. Vălean said that swift progress must be made on the design activities and construction would also need to be upscaled so that Rail Baltica could open in 2026.
“The EU budget should be the primary tool at the European level to kick-start our economies and drive our recovery towards a greener, more resilient and digital Europe. Projects such as Rail Baltica will contribute to all of these dimensions. Investments in sustainable transport infrastructure will be more important than ever in relaunching the economy and making our continent more resilient, in line with the European Green Deal.”
Representatives from RB Rail AS presented the main upcoming tenders, as well as the project timeline and the strategic direction for the construction procurement during the livestream. They also addressed long-term development activities.
The peak of the construction works on Rail Baltica will take place between 2022 and 2025. During this time the Rail Baltica project will create in the region of 13,000 jobs in the construction industry and 24,000 indirect and induced jobs in related industries, e.g. material sourcing, component manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and catering, professional services, etc.
The project implementation is progressing without interruption despite the current state of emergency in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
“We are not only delivering the detailed technical design in all of Estonia, Latvia and in two sections of Lithuania, but also developing plans to prepare for the large-scale construction works ahead. The focus is on setting up a procurement system that would enable quality, cost-efficiency and speed in the delivery of construction works and allow both international and local companies to take part in the project.”
By 2026 the total Rail Baltica investment in the Baltic States will reach 5.8 billion euros, with up to 85 percent co-funded by the European Union.
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