TALLINN – The Rail Baltic project will be delayed by four years and the portion of financing for the construction of the railway that Estonia still needs to secure is roughly 400 million euros, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas told public broadcaster ERR in an interview on Friday.
Aas said that one reason for the postponement of the completion of the project is that it was not possible to accurately predict the final cost of the entire undertaking.
"Today, we see that we also need to use the next EU period funds. As this is a TNT network project, the deadline for Europe is 2030. The year 2026 was our own deadline," the minister told ERR.
It is reckoned in Estonia's case that the amount still missing could be in the order of 400 million euros. However, this figure cannot yet be taken as absolute, since, on the one hand, there is still no certainty as to construction prices, whereas on the other hand, work is also being done to find ways to do all things more optimally in order to try and save money.
Estonia will need additional funds until 2030, Aas added.
The minister said that the railway could be operational before 2030.
"After all, we are trying to get the connections ready as soon as possible. I would very much like them to be ready in 2026 or 2027. This may mean that there will not be two pairs of tracks side by side and there will be specific places for trains to pass each other. And then in the future it will be built to completion," he said.