Rail Baltica project faces cost overruns, delays: auditors


  • World
  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

VILNIUS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Rail Baltica project in the three Baltic states may need 10-19 billion euros (10.8-20.5 billion U.S. dollars) more than planned, audit institutions from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia announced in a joint report.

"The Rail Baltica project's progress is at risk because its estimated cost has quadrupled over seven years and the project's size could lead to a budget deficit of 10-19 billion euros," the auditors said on Wednesday.

According to the auditors, there will be a gap in European funding between 2027 and 2028, which will have to be covered by the Baltic countries themselves.

The authorities estimate that a further 19 billion euros will be needed to complete the entire project.

The costs of purchasing, maintaining, and operating the trains are not included in the project budget and cannot be financed with EU money.

According to Lithuania's Ministry of Transport and Communications, the entire Rail Baltica project is scheduled to be completed in 2030, while the connection between Lithuania and Poland is expected to be completed in 2028. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollar)

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