The EU's TEN-T Program will back the upgrade of the existing sea line between Nantes St-Nazaire, France and Vigo, Spain with over €3.5 million to ensure reliable and frequent shipping service of cargo transport. The alternative sea route is expected to help reduce road traffic and air pollution, leading to a fully operational infrastructure
by late 2015.
The new service started operations this year with three rotations per week. A fourth rotation will be added by July 2016 when occupancy ratios are satisfactory.
The line's upgrade consists of increasing the infrastructure's capacity and improving the interface between the sea terminals and their hinterland connections. New berth for ro-ro ships (carrying wheeled cargo) will be constructed at the Port of St-Nazaire and a floating ramp will be installed in the Port of Vigo to improve embarkation and disembarkation.
The overall objective of the project is the alignment to the Atlantic Corridor goals, in terms of providing sustainable transport and contributing to create cohesion synergies between the peripheral and core regions of the European Union
The project is promoting alternative sea transport from France
to Spain and Portugal with an expected positive impact on traffic management, modal shift from road to sea and reduction of emissions from road transport.
The project was selected for EU funding with the assistance of external experts under the TEN-T Multi-Annual Call 2013, priority 'Motorways of the Sea'. Its implementation will be monitored by INEA, the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.
The project is to be completed by December 2015.