On Monday 5 December, Philippe Richert and Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz signed a €40 million loan agreement constituting the first instalment of a total €130 million long-term loan.
The agreement covers the Alsace Region’s financing needs for the next three years for carrying out phase two of the “LGV Est-Européenne” high speed rail project and modifying the rail network in north Strasbourg.
The loan agreement was drawn up on the ‘best available market terms’ after three months of negotiations between the two parties.
Granted by a public sector borrower, this loan will enable the Alsace Region to ‘secure its sources of financing up to 2013 in a European environment marked by a scarcity of long-term funding.
Following on from the financing provided for the first phase of the “LGV Est-Européenne” project, the EIB decided to support the Alsace Region in implementing phase two of the line by granting the loan.
By 2016, the loan will serve to link the Lorraine high speed train station (Baudrecourt) to the Alsace high speed train station (Vendenheim) and cut journey times from Paris to Strasbourg by 30 minutes (from 2 hours 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes) and from Luxembourg to Strasbourg by 45 minutes (from 2 hours 10 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes).
Costing a total of €2.1 billion, the project will receive financing of €236 million from Alsace’s local and regional authorities, including €95 million from the Alsace Region. The first instalment of EIB funds will be drawn down in December 2011.
This EIB loan will also serve to finance modification works on the conventional network in north Strasbourg.
The high speed line will connect to the conventional line from Haguenau at Vendenheim, making it possible to cross the Strasbourg railway nexus at 160 km/h.