The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications, Antonio Mendonca, signed a contract on 8 May to build the first stretch of the Lisbon-Madrid high-speed rail line from Poceirão to the Spanish border, Caia.
This is the first contract signed as part of Portugal’s master plan for high-speed rail.
The 40-year contract includes the construction, maintenance and path allocation of the Poceirão-Caia line and the construction and operation of the Évora station. Investment in the project will amount to €1359 million during the construction phase with an average annual maintenance cost of €12.2 million. The financing will take the form of a public-private partnership: 41% funded by the European Union, 49% by private funds and 10% by the state.
The high-speed line from Lisbon to Madrid will be operational by 2013 and reduce the journey time to 2h45 between the two capitals. It will also be designed for freight traffic.
This first contract will contribute to the economic recovery as the potential involvement of the national Portuguese industry could represent over 90% and 100 000 jobs will be created during the construction phase.
The introduction of high speed in Portugal will reduce energy consumption which is expected to reach the equivalent of 200 000 tonnes of oil by 2040, thus contributing to the reduction of oil imports.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions the introduction of high speed in Portugal will contribute to a reduction of about 300 000 tonnes of CO2 by 2020 and 480 000 tonnes of CO2 by 2040.