Norway. Vegfinans E134 Buskerud AS
|Date of agreement:||30 Oct 2015|
|Customer:||Vegfinans E134 Buskerud AS|
|Amount in NOK:||NOK 1,000 million|
|Amount in EUR:||EUR 106.5 million|
|NACE sector / loan type:||Construction|
The loan is to finance the construction of a new segment of European highway E134 between Damåsen and Saggrenda in Buskerud County, Norway.
The new stretch of road will be 13.2 kilometres long and run south of the existing E134 route, bypassing the town of Kongsberg. A roundabout will connect Kongsberg Technology Park to the motorway.
The project also includes the construction of about ten kilometres of new side roads and associated structures, as well as the construction of a new rail tunnel to increase the capacity of the existing rail network in Buskerud County.
Construction started in June 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2019. The total cost of the project is estimated at NOK 4.2 billion (EUR 480 million).
Vegfinans E134 Buskerud AS is a special purpose vehicle established by Vegfinans A/S to finance the Buskerud road project by charging toll fees. Vegfinans A/S is a management body for toll companies and is owned by the Norwegian counties of Oppland, Hedmark, Buskerud, Telemark, Vestfold and Akershus.
Fulfilment of NIB's mandate
The project supports the development of the E134 traffic corridor in Norway, which is one of the top priorities in the country’s long-term road infrastructure strategy. The new road section is expected to reduce travel times and accidents and to increase the overall efficiency of economic activity in the region. The E134 corridor will contribute to more productive logistics systems, and will indirectly increase competition in local markets by improving regional integration.
Traffic volumes are expected to initially decline by about 25% due to the newly introduced tolls, but are likely to pick up again when the fees are phased out after fifteen years. Therefore, the average impact on emissions into the air is likely to be insignificant over the lifetime of the project.
The potential key environmental issues linked to the road project are water pollution, noise, destruction of habitats and poor air quality, as well as climate change from vehicle emissions. A positive effect of the E134 project will be generated by the new Kongsberg bypass, which will remove a substantial amount of heavy transport traffic from the centre of town.
Noise modelling has been carried out to identify appropriate mitigation issues, and additional insulation will be provided. Other mitigation measures, like terrain shaping, embankments and sound barriers, will be taken.