The loan will be used finance upgrades to a 72km section between Laksam and Akhaura in eastern central Bangladesh. Work involves construction of a second track and upgrading of the existing track along with the installation of modern signalling equipment. The project is part of a broader programme to upgrade, by 2020, the whole 321km rail corridor between the capital Dhaka and Chittagong. The programme will also facilitate the rail connection of landlocked Bhutan, Nepal and the north-east states of India with Chittagong port.
The total project cost is approximately €555m.
EIB vice-president Jonathan Taylor said: “The project will contribute to the two main objectives of the EIB’s external mandate: on the one hand, the mitigation of climate change, by promoting a modal shift from road to rail; and on the other, the development of social and economic infrastructure, by making a key contribution to a major transportation axis.”