EIB loan for a new metro in Barcelona
Brussels, Belgium – The European Investment Bank is providing a EUR 650 million loan to IFERCAT (Infraestructuras Ferroviaries de Catalunya) for the new metro line number 9. The new underground line extends, over 43 km and has 47 stations within the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
It is the second loan provided by the EIB to the centrepiece project of Barcelona’s transportation system connecting metro, bus, the suburban rail, the international airport and the high-speed rail lines between Spain and France. EIB’s significant support to the project totals EUR 1.3 bn.
The Bank’s contribution to structuring of the project since its early stages in the 1990’s is aimed at ensuring the highest possible benefits for the public. Some 2.6 million inhabitants of the agglomeration will benefit from improved safety and mobility, and from the reduction of congestion and pollution.
Line 9 will cross the metropolitan area in a semi-circle inter-connecting six municipalities. At the northern end it will branch into two lines, providing access to Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Badalona (some 335 000 inhabitants altogether). At the southern end it will cross the municipality of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and branch towards the industrial area of Zona Franca and towards El Prat del Llobregat (adding 325 000 inhabitants) and the international airport. About one third of the project runs through economically and socially less favoured areas benefiting from EU support.
The project developed by the Comunidad Autonoma de Cataluña (CAC) is being implemented by GISA, and will be owned by IFERCAT, both public entities owned by CAC. A highly innovative computerised construction method, supervised by the research units of the Universities of Barcelona and Bochum (Germany), will be ensuring savings as well as prevention and remedy of damages during the construction. In addition, train control will be fully automatic. Line 9 works started in 2003. It is expected to be phased into activity in 2007/2008 and should be in full activity by 2011.