High-speed rail line boosted by €890m loan

25 Nov 20

The European Investment bank has approved an €890m loan towards the development of a high-speed rail line from Madrid to the Portuguese border.

Spain railway

Spanish railway, by ADIF

The funding will go to Adif Alta Velocidad, the Spanish state-owned high-speed rail network, and will aim to drastically reduce travel time between the capital and border region Extremadura.

A first tranche of €300m is to be allocated for the development phase of the project.

Isabel Pardo de Vera, president of Adif Alta Velocidad, said: “The high-speed connection with Extremadura is one of the most important projects Adif Alta Velocidad is working on, as it will have a great impact across Spain, the Iberian Peninsula and Europe.

“The significant investment efforts required will help create jobs and enable economic, technological and regional development, which is even more important as the economy begins to recover in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The project is aimed at improving the connection between Spain and Portugal, and will be used for both freight and passenger services.

It also aims to help boost Spain’s economic recovery following the pandemic with around 17,000 new jobs set to be created during the construction phase, according to AAV.

Ricardo Mourinho Félix, EIB vice president, said: “We are pleased to be joining forces once again with Adif Alta Velocidad to finance investments in high-speed rail lines that will contribute to the creation of sustainable, high-quality employment in a cohesion region, to the recovery of the Spanish economy, and to the fight against climate change.”

The loan is the second agreed between the EIB and the transport operator in recent months, after a €205m infrastructure loan was agreed in July.

Last month, the Spanish Government extended the country’s furlough scheme, which it said will be in place until it is no longer needed.

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