Gaping budget hole in Fehmarn Belt project
The massive Fehmarn Belt project that will connect southern Zealand to Germany is facing significant financial problems following the EU Commission’s decision to allocate a smaller amount of funds than expected.
The EU Commission has confirmed to Børsen business newspaper that Denmark has been given 4.4 billion kroner in support for the Fehmarn link looking ahead to 2020. That’s far less than the 7.5 billion kroner the Danes had expected and leaves a budget hole of over 3 billion kroner.
The now-former transport minister, Magnus Heunicke, hopes that Denmark can be allocated more funds in later application rounds.
“I’ve noted that the commissioner has told me personally that this is the first application round and there will be more along the way,” Heunicke told Børsen.
“Fehmarn is still one of the most highly-prioritised mega projects in Europe.”
8 percent covered
Denmark has another opportunity to apply for EU funds during the next application round in 2018, but those funds are not guaranteed beforehand.
The new transport minister Hans Christian Schmidt will be under pressure to prepare for the new round should he hope to fill the gaping budget gap that currently exists.
The news comes just months after it was revealed that the Fehmarn Belt-connection is expected to cost 2.2 billion kroner more than expected.
Currently, the EU funds will subsidise 8 percent of the total of 55 billion kroner the link will cost.