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Brussels, 11 February 2009

Commission authorises Flemish Region aid to build intermodal terminal in Antwerp

The European Commission today approved State aid aimed at part-financing the construction of an intermodal terminal for continental containers at the port of Antwerp.

According to the Belgian authorities, studies have revealed congestion problems on roads in the Flemish Region as well as growing health problems linked to high concentrations of fine particulate matter and CO2 in the atmosphere.

The area around the port of Antwerp, a prime economic hub, is particularly affected by congestion. Studies also highlighted the lack of available intermodal (road-rail) infrastructure in the Flemish Region.

In this connection, the Belgian authorities notified the Flemish Region's plan to part-finance the construction of an intermodal (road-rail) terminal for continental containers at the port of Antwerp, which should increase the port's capacity to handle continental containers by 28%. The terminal will be accessible to all rail operators and will be used exclusively for the transhipment of continental containers on behalf of any party.

The Commission considers that this aid contributes to developing the combined transport sector by promoting a shift from the overloaded road network in high traffic density areas and does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest.

Accordingly, the Commission has declared the transaction compatible with the common market[1].

[1] Under Article 87(3)(c) of the Treaty.

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