Belgium: Third financing tranche for “Oosterweel” Antwerp ring road signed

(Source: European Investment Bank)

  • EIB signs third tranche, worth €250 million, of the lending agreement with Flemish government regarding the for Antwerp ring road completion.
  • Signature brings total EIB funds for Oosterweel to €500 million, out of an available facility of €1 billion.
  • Works on the connection to unlock traffic around Antwerp city and harbour are well underway and expected to be completed by 2030.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Flemish Government in Belgium have signed the third tranche of a lending facility in support of the “Oosterweel” project, the missing link in the ring road around the city of Antwerp. The parties added their signatures to the document, covering a €250 million tranche of the EIB facility, in Brussels today, bringing the total EIB-financing made available for the project to €500 million.

Just over two year after works started on the left bank of the river Scheldt, Flemish Ministers Peeters (Mobility) and Diependaele (Finance) have signed a €250 million tranche of financing for the Oosterweel project with the European Investment Bank. The signature is the third tranche of EIB-financing for the major mobility project, which is expected to significantly improve accessibility and quality of life in the region around Antwerp, and which has a total price tag of EUR 3.5 billion.

Today’s agreement bring the total EIB-contribution to the project to €500 million, out of an available €1 billion facility that was first approved in March 2018 by the EIB’s Board of Directors. In-line with earlier tranches, the €250 million tranche of financing has a tenor of 40 years.

Upon signing the agreement, Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters commented: “With the signature of the third tranche we show once again that the Oosterweel connection is a positive development for the quality of life and mobility not only for Antwerp, but for all of Flanders and even Europe. Large infrastructure networks like this one are necessary and will significantly improve mobility in Flanders, thus further improving our international competitive position.”

Flemish Minister of Finance Matthias Diependaele added: “The Oosterweel project is the biggest construction site of the century, and is of crucial importance for the people of Flanders, for the quality of life in Antwerp and for our economy. The favourable financing conditions of the European Investment Bank ensure an advantageous loan, which benefits our Flemish budget. This agreement is a win-win for all those involved.”

EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters added: “I am glad that the European Investment Bank can support the Oosterweel connection with a lending facility of €1 billion; still one of the largest ever EIB-loans to a single project. Today we sign the third financing tranche, worth €250 million, and with it, we support the implementation of a strategic mobility project that commits to faster and safer traffic with less impact on the environment. The advantages of unlocking the ring road will not only benefit residents and local companies, but also ensure a better flow of European transit traffic.”

Background Information:

The EIB is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. We work closely with the other EU institutions to implement EU policy. In 2020 alone, the Bank made available nearly EUR 1.18 bln in loans for Belgian projects in various sectors, including renewable energy, circular economy, water management, education and SMEs.

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