The European Union will co-finance with over €2.2 million from the TEN-T Program studies analyzing the possible ways to improve the rail connections to the French port of Dunkirk as well as the technical design for the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering station.
The studies were both selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call and will analyze two distinct aspects affecting the Port of Dunkirk.
The first project, which will receive EU support to the tune of over €1.1 million, will look at preparing a series of studies to improve the rail connections between the French national railway network and the Port. The rail traffic generated by the Port and the industrial port area is 14 million tonnes a year, making Dunkirk the largest French rail freight hub with 12% of national freight and making rail infrastructure improvements a necessity to sustain and expand this share.
The second project, supported by the EU with a grant worth over €1.1 million, will analyse the feasibility of constructing a LNG bunkering station within the Port capable of directly receiving fuel from an adjacent LNG import terminal currently under construction. LNG is rapidly emerging as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel for the maritime sector and its uptake is encouraged by the European Union.
The projects will be managed by the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency and are set to be completed by the end of 2014.