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Liège: the banks suspend the financing of the tram

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Six banks, including the European Investment Bank, have suspended financing for the construction of the new tram line in Liège during the year 2021, according to the annual report of the TramArdent consortium relayed on Friday by L’Echo. This penalizes especially the French contractor Colas, which accumulates the losses due to the long delay taken by the project.

The new tram line was to come into service in 2022. But the construction site was confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, floods and above all the unexpected presence of cables and pipes in the basement of the route. The ensuing delays have pushed up the total cost of the project, which is now scheduled for completion in April 2024.

For the Liège contract, TramArdent has taken out loans in the amount of 429 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Belfius bank, the insurer AG Insurance, the French investor Natixis, the German insurer Talanx and the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). Since these six lenders have closed the financing tap, the construction company Colas must bear “all the costs of carrying out the project, including the cost of financing and the operating costs of the company” TramArdent. For Colas, this means huge losses.