The Brenner Base Tunnel project has received a EUR 700 million financing through the second call for proposals of the CEF2 under which 107 projects have been selected for a total co-financing of EUR 6.2 billion.
To date, the European Union has provided a total European co-funding of EUR 1.6 billion for the planning and exploration costs and 40 percent of the construction costs of the project.
The newly approved EU funds will now finance 50 percent of the costs incurred for the construction measures, rather than 40 percent as before. This means that the new funds will now cover 50 percent of all project costs. The remaining costs are shared equally between Italy and Austria.
The European co-financing refers to the continuation of civil works activities to achieve the Brenner Base Tunnel, meaning in particular the excavation of the main tunnels and multi-functional stations, the completion of the exploratory tunnel and the preparation and construction of the supporting technical infrastructure. It also includes the continuation of activities concerning the design and preparation and execution of tenders, obtaining the necessary authorisations, geognostic and exploratory surveys, monitoring and compensatory measures as well as the development of design activities, preparatory to the construction of the railway equipment for the tunnel. The project will contribute to the timely completion of the Brenner Base Tunnel, which is part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor.
“The two board members of the binational project company BBT SE, Martin Gradnitzer and Gilberto Cardola, see it as a great sign of confidence that the EU will once again provide a high funding contribution,” says BBT SE, the company responsible for the implementation of the Brenner Base Tunnel project.
After a comprehensive analysis, BBT SE has estimated the total project costs for the Brenner Base Tunnel at around EUR 10.5 billion. The breakdown of the estimated total costs includes EUR 8.54 billion for construction works, more than EUR 1 billion for risk provision and EUR 903 million which covers the preliminary monetary adjustment, meaning the probable inflation applicable to future costs.
The adjustment of the original total cost estimate of EUR 9.6 billion according to the Austrian calculation method and EUR 8.8 billion according to the Italian calculation method is mainly due to inflation trends such as price increases in the energy sector and cost inflation of building materials. The present total cost estimate was calculated on the basis of a joint Austrian – Italian inflation rate specifically for the BBT project, thus the current amount is therefore the product of a single, joint cost estimate.
The Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) connecting Austria and Italy runs for 64 km between Tulfes/Innsbruck and Fortezza, making it the longest underground railway stretch in the word. The BBT ends in Innsbruck in the existing railway bypass tunnel, which ends in Tulfes. A new rescue tunnel is being built running parallel to the bypass. The two-tube tunnel system between Innsbruck and Fortezza is 55 km long.
In the spring of 2023, the first TBM excavating one of the main tunnels in the eastern main tunnel in Italy has reached the Brenner after 4 years of activity. The works were carried out on the H61 Mules 2-3 section, the largest lot of the entire Brenner Base Tunnel project and comprises a tunnel system of approximately 65 km.
In April 2023, BBT SE awarded the consortium of Porr Bau GmbH, Marti GmbH Austria and Marti Tunnel AG Switzerland the contract for the construction of H53 Pfons-Brenner lot. EUR 959 million is the contract’s value and represents the largest construction lot on Austrian project territory. The contract comprises the construction of 25.2 km of main tunnels which will be driven between the municipal area of Pfons and the national border at the Brenner Pass. The scheduled construction time for this tunnel section is 70.5 months (5.8 years). With this award decision, all tunnel construction lots of the Brenner Base Tunnel project have now been awarded.
In May 2023, the tunnel boring machine “Lilia” started the excavation works for 8.1 km of the east main tunnel from Ahrental southwards on the H41 Sill Gorge-Pfons section. The tubbing rings for the H41 Sill Gorge-Pfons construction lot are produced in the new, specially constructed plant directly on the existing construction site. In the next 2.5 years, a total of about 51,000 tubbing rings will be produced specifically for this construction lot. On-site tubbing ring production not only offers logistical advantages, but protects the environment as well.