The board of directors of Infrabel approved a EUR 1 billion loan to implement projects and programmes to increase transport capacity on the Belgian rail network. Infrabel consulted several financial institutions to secure the long-term future of its investments. The loan, which will complete the financing resources for 2023 – 2032, will be taken out in the form of two tranches with the Federal Debt Agency (FAS).
These projects concern, among other things, the completion of the works on the RER and Axis 3 (Ottignies – Luxembourg border), the expansion to four tracks of the Ghent – Bruges railway line. The plan also includes expansion works in the ports of Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
“The step that Infrabel is taking today supports the ambitions of the Investment Plan 2023-2032. This loan is essential to, among other things, complete the RER, expand the Ghent – Bruges rail line to four-track and stimulate investments in the ports,” Benoît Gilson, CEO Infrabel said.
The loan is expected to be provided in two tranches. On November 28, 2023, Infrabel’s board of directors decided that a first tranche of EUR 800 million will be activated from 2025.
“With this loan, Infrabel is preparing the track for more growth in the offering of our customers, the operators. By exceptionally taking out a loan itself, the board of directors takes its responsibility to finally complete major infrastructure projects such as the RER and important port projects,” Jan Cornillie, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Infrabel said.
In December 2022, the Council of Ministers approved Infrabel’s Performance Contract and its annexes, the financial plan and the multi-year Investment Plan for the period 2023-2032. A budgetary envelope of EUR 16.4 billion has now been provided for the next ten years, of which EUR 11 billion for the investments in the Belgian rail network, and EUR 5.4 billion for operational needs regarding the operation and maintenance of the network.
“Infrabel thanks the federal government for this long-term financial clarity. This long-term vision enables Infrabel to guarantee its customers the necessary stability,” the company says.
With annual investments of more than EUR 1 billion, Infrabel is a driving force behind the Belgian economy. A study conducted by Deloitte in 2022 shows that the company has a major impact on national wealth as every euro that Infrabel invests generates an impact of EUR 2.83 on GDP.