OceanFinance was present at this year’s Regional Transport Investment Conference for Transport that took place in Sofia on 23-24 of March, 2017. At this intriguing gathering OceanFinance actively participated at the discussions over the new investment opportunities, the innovative financing mechanisms, their respective requirements and advisory support to improve its future projects’ quality.
More than 500 participants gathered at Sofia to discuss new initiatives aimed at boosting infrastructure financing in Europe and bridging the investment gap in Transport while stimulating the EU economy. The Conference brought together the Ministers and high level personalities involved in transport financing and planning from the EU Cohesion Member States, the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries, the European Investment Bank, International Financial Institutions, European TEN-T Coordinators, project promoters, investors and National Promotional Banks.
At the heart of discussion were the innovative financing mechanisms of the Investment Plan for Europe and their achievements so far. Two new initiatives for transport have been presented, the Cleaner Transport Facility of European Investment Bank and the Connecting Europe Facility’s € 1bn Transport Blending Call available for blending with funds of EIB or other private sector financing, both aimed at boosting infrastructure financing in Europe and facilitating the transition into an efficient, safe and sustainable mobility.
Regarding the latter, Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc has stated: “Achieving our vision for seamless, intelligent and sustainable mobility in Europe requires investments that public funds alone cannot provide. That is why we are launching an innovative solution to make the best of our resources, and unlock untapped private investments, with particular focus on Cohesion countries. Today’s action is a sign of solidarity on the move.”
For the first time, this call for proposals of CEF requires the combination of grants with financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the European Investment Bank, National Promotional Banks or private sector investors. Successful proposals will have to provide evidence of the projects’ financial readiness to secure complementary funding from public or private financing institutions.
Moreover, EIB’s Cleaner Transport Facility is an umbrella to support the deployment of new cleaner technology in transport by making use of the tools that the EIB and the EC can offer. The objective of CTF is to support the accelerated deployment of cleaner transport vehicles and their associated infrastructure needs, such as for charging and refueling, which are expected to foster socio-economic benefits including reduced health costs due to cleaner air and lower noise.