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8 April 2013

EIB: EUR 120m loan to increase the safety of the Fréjus trans-European tunnel

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made a tangible commitment to the cross-border Fréjus Tunnel project in the form of a EUR 120m loan. The finance contract was signed today, Monday 8 April 2013, by EIB Vice-President Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive and Mr Christophe Saintillan, President of Caisse Nationale des Autoroutes (CNA).

At a time when the EIB is stepping up its activities in support of job-creating projects thanks to its capital increase, this long-term loan, provided on attractive terms owing to the EIB’s AAA credit rating, will help to enhance considerably safety conditions for users of the Fréjus Tunnel on a road section that is of strategic significance to EU trade.  

Fulfilling a dual performance and safety objective, this is a key financing operation for the trans-European road network. It will enable a second carriageway, i.e. a safety tunnel, to be built alongside the existing Fréjus Tunnel connecting Piedmont to Savoie so that traffic can flow on a single lane in one direction in each tunnel, while the second lane is used as an emergency lane. The whole of the site will be equipped with efficient safety systems in accordance with the new EU standards which come into force in 2014: the two tunnels at a distance of around 50m from each other will therefore be linked by 34 100m2 emergency shelters, and the construction of five by-passes accessible to vehicles will enable emergency teams and equipment to be deployed from the safety tunnel.

The Fréjus Tunnel forms part of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) aimed at developing an efficient and sustainable European infrastructure system. The development of this network is an EIB priority to which the Bank allocated a little over EUR 6bn within the European Union in 2012.

Note to editors:

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Its remit is to provide mainly long-term loans for viable private or public investment projects that accelerate growth and generate employment.

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