ECONOMY

Multiple projects proposed for EU subsidy

multiple-projects-proposed-for-eu-subsidy

The government is hoping to finance 5 billion euros’ worth of infrastructure works through the Next Generation EU fund.

The final list submitted to the European authorities for approval includes a series of mature projects that are considered feasible to be auctioned (if they haven’t been already) and for contracts to be signed within 2022. It is also estimated they will make the 2026 deadline for their completion.

Construction market sources say that those projects include not only highways but also a significant share of the program of electricity interconnections by the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE). They note that ADMIE has planned for investments of €4.3 billion until 2030, with an emphasis on the interconnection of the islands (such as Crete-Peloponnese, Crete-Attica, and the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and the islands of the northeast Aegean). It is hoped that a part of those projects will be financed by the EU resources.

The project that stands out among the planned highways is the northern section of the E65 in Thessaly (from Trikala to Egnatia Odos), with a budget of €400 million. This is a 64-kilometer section that has already advanced significantly in terms of EU approvals. It will not require any tenders as it forms part of the existing concession contract for the highway, so as soon as Brussels gives the nod, the concession contract will be amended and, after the Parliament’s approval, GEK Terna will begin construction.

Some of the sections of the Northern Crete Highway, which will be constructed as a public project and not a concession, are considered mature enough to be funded by the Next Generation EU package. For now it is not clear which sections these are, as talks are ongoing with the European authorities.

The proposed projects will also incorporate the maturest sections of the Attiki Odos extensions, such as the connection of Kymis Avenue with the Athens-Lamia National Road, a project budgeted at €250 million. Another strong candidate is the road connection between Ioannina and Kakavia, on the Greek-Albanian border, a 74 km highway section that will be upgraded to serve as an extension of Ionia Odos.