The Netherlands to receive European grant for infrastructure
The Netherlands will receive an 82.8 million euro grant from Brussels to support infrastructure projects. A sum of 32 million euros will be earmarked for the installation of the ERTMS railway safety system in Dutch freight locomotives that operate on the Rotterdam-Genoa line. The allocation of 11 million euros to the renovation of the Twente Canal and the inland ports of Hengelo and Almelo will provide more room for the Dutch inland shipping sector. In order to green this sector, 7 million euros will be made available for the construction of six climate-neutral, electrically powered inland vessels. The RET Rotterdam public transport company will receive a 3.3 million euro grant for the construction of 74 charging stations and the procurement of 105 electric buses.
The grants are provided under the EU Trans-European Transport Networks programme (TEN-T). This programme seeks to develop a single transnational main network within the European Union covering road, rail, water, and air transport. The Dutch projects that will receive grants have been submitted on behalf of Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen and State Secretary Van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management. Today, the European member states endorsed the intended decision regarding the allocation of grants by the European Commission.
The 32 million euro grant awarded to the introduction of the ERTMS system means that the freight transporters do not need to bear the costs of this new European railway safety system by themselves. A total of 72 million euros is required for the installation of the control system in 300 freight locomotives operational in the Netherlands. The EU subsidy and a 15 million euro grant from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will help the freight transporters cover the costs. By 2023, all locomotives must be equipped with the latest version of the ERTMS system. Its installation in the locomotives is important in the purview of the future introduction of the system in our national rail network.
The expansion of the Twente Canal will render this waterway accessible to larger vessels, which will give impetus to freight transport by water. Eventually, a stretch of 33 kilometres will be dredged. In addition, the quays in the Hengelo and Almelo ports will be renovated, and a remote-control system will be introduced for locks.
A sum of 7 million euros has been made available to green the shipping sector. This sum has been allocated to Port Liner, a project featuring Dutch suppliers only. Port Liner intends to launch the Netherlands’ first climate-neutral and zero-emission vessel in August 2018. This will be the first in a series of six sustainable vessels. Energy is generated in a sustainable manner and stored in ready-to-use container batteries to be placed on board. Being electrically powered, the vessels can carry eight per cent more volume compared to regular diesel vessels.