European Investment Bank to fund half of new Luas line project
The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has announced that the European Investment Bank has agreed a deal in principle to provide the funds required for the new Luas cross-city link in Dublin. The total cost of joining the existing green and red Luas lines through the city centre is estimated to be in the region of €368 million.
The construction of the new Luas lines is expected to begin in January and will be completed by the end of 2017. Mr. Varadkar has welcomed the news that the construction is to be backed by the European Investment Bank and has made the point that their interest rates are usually around 1% lower than the rate the Government would receive on the markets.
Mr. Varadkar was speaking this morning on RTE news when he said “The board of the European Investment Bank has endorsed the Luas cross city project and has agreed to provide a low interest loan to Ireland to help fund the cost of construction.”
He also announced that EIB have said that they are prepared to offer the Government €163 million, which is around half of the total cost of the project. The negotiations between the bank and the Government are planned to commence in the next few days and it is hoped that they will be concluded early in the New Year.
The construction project will also see around 800 full time jobs made available for the duration of the works and there will be 60 permanent jobs available when the project is finished in four years time.