Discussions on a project company for eastern rail connection to start
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has started discussions on the requirements for establishing a project company for the eastern railway connection. The launch event with the municipalities took place on 24 June 2020.
The discussions at the event focused on the framework conditions for initiating the project company preparations. The basis for the discussions was a report by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency published on 28 May 2020 on the development of rail transport in eastern Finland.
At the same time, a survey was conducted to tentatively examine the municipalities' willingness to participate in the establishment of the project company and in financing the planning of the eastern direction under the same principles that served as the basis for the discussions on the project companies for Finland Railway and the one-hour Helsinki-Turku fast rail link.
"I am pleased that discussions on promoting the fast rail link in the eastern direction have now begun. Efficient rail transport services across Finland are essential as we move towards sustainable mobility. We are now charting the municipalities' interest in committing themselves to the project company. In the long planning process, it will be examined whether the rail project is feasible to implement," says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
Project company would be responsible for planning the railway project
The negotiations on the project company for the eastern rail connection would be conducted on the same terms as the negotiations on the project companies for Finland Railway and the one-hour Helsinki-Turku fast rail link that are now in the process of being set up. The company would be responsible for the project-related planning and its funding until the construction phase. All large-scale rail transport investments will be promoted in accordance with the policies supported by the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy on 10 September 2019.
In the earlier negotiations, a requirement for the establishment of the project companies was that their owners, or partners, will include not only the state but also other public sector or publicly owned entities benefiting from the project. At the initial stages, the state would own at least 51 per cent of the project company and other partners around 49 per cent.
According to a preliminary estimate, the planning costs for the Porvoo-Kouvola link would be around EUR 70 million and for the Porvoo-Kotka-Luumäki link around EUR 110 million.
What are the next steps?
The municipalities should express their interest in the capitalisation of the project company by 31 August 2020.
Replies are requested in order to explore whether the operators in the region have the prerequisites for and level of commitment to the establishment of a project company on the basis of principles similar to those used in the previous negotiations.
Sabina Lindström, Director-Genera+358 l, tel. +358 40 527 6103
Miikka Rainiala, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 571 7751 (project company)