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EU Support Available For Mature Projects on Port and Hinterland Infrastructure

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On 31 January, the TEN-T Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) organised a TEN-T info day in Brussels to provide guidance to stakeholders wishing to apply for support from the TEN-T programme under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call.  The call for proposals was launched early January by the European Commission following an amendment of the 2011 Annual Work Programme which made available an additional budget of €200 million for projects.

Representatives of the European Commission (DG MOVE) and the TEN-T Executive Agency explained in detail the five priorities that are addressed by the call and the policy background. The overall objective of this TEN-T call is to provide support to mature projects as well as helping to create a pipeline of projects which will be mature by 2014 at the start of the new financial framework.

The five priorities with their allocated indicative budget are:   Priority 1: The development of an integrated and multi-modal transport system (€25 million); priority will be given to proposals consisting of studies or works concerning freight terminals and logistic platforms (including seaports) above the volume threshold which is provided by the new TEN-T guidelines proposal.

Priority 2: Infrastructure development contributing to mitigation and adaptation to climate change and reducing transport’s impact on the environment (€35 million); including among others, studies or works supporting the reduction of the impact of maritime fuel on the environment (air pollutants), as for example the installation in ports of shore-side electricity facilities, LNG bunkering facilities and reception facilities for residues from scrubbers.

Priority 3: Accelerate/facilitate the implementation of TEN-T projects (€100 million); including works to be completed by 2014 and preparatory studies that can accelerate the implementation of projects (e.g. environmental studies, design studies, etc…).

Priority 4: Support Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and innovative financial instruments (€15 million); including technical and financial studies, support in the preparation of tender documentation and procurement phase, PPP feasibility analysis, etc..

Priority 5: Support the long term implementation of the TEN-T network, in particular the development of corridors that enable a coordinated implementation of the network (€25 million); including projects for the implementation of EU rail freight corridors, integration of ports in TEN-T network, and other projects provided that there is a corridor approach.

Proposals should consist of either studies or works. A combination of both is not considered to be eligible under this call. In addition, proposals should target one concrete priority and include only actions that will be finalised before 31 December 2014. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 13 April 2012 which participants coincided to be very tight, in particular for some of the priorities. Following some remarks from the audience, the Motorways of the Sea (MOS) programme under the TEN-T framework was also discussed.

The European Commission acknowledged that the MOS concept is still rather vague and confirmed that under the current call for proposals, MOS projects are not eligible. However, the Commission announced that a specific TEN-T MOS call for proposals would be launched in 2012. On the practical side, experts from the TEN-T Executive Agency explained the key aspects of the evaluation process and provided recommendations on the application process and on how to submit a successful project proposal.

A practical demonstration of the online eSubmission tool was also organised to familiarise potential applicants with the software.   All presentations delivered at the event can be found here.

N.B. Video recordings of the event will also be available in the next few weeks when will advise our readership to see same.  Finally, in view of making some corrections, a corrigendum will shortly be published on the text of the call for proposals.

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