The European Investment Bank (EIB) is backing green inland cargo shipping in Lithuania with an agreement signed with the Lithuanian Inland Waterways Authority (LIWA).
The advisory services deal will support the construction of zero-emission electric transport shipping vessels to initiate cargo transportation between two major cities of Klaipėda and Kaunas.
A project to introduce an electric towboat was launched in Lithuania at the end of 2021, which the EIB suggests could play a “crucial role” in revitalising freight transportation on the Nemunas, Lithuania’s largest river, as well as support the development of greener transport chains in the country.
EIB experts, along with external providers, mobilised by the European Investment Advisory Hub will provide advice to LIWA to analyse the feasibility of the projects and its funding options.
They will also provide insights into the supplier and operator market, as well as any potential regulatory and competition issues.
LIWA CEO Vladimiras Vinokurovas said: “The Lithuanian Inland Waterways Authority is the administrator of inland waterways of national importance. It is planning to adopt a climate-friendly course and this proposed investment in electric cargo transportation will make a significant positive contribution to reducing the national carbon transport footprint by replacing fossil fuel-powered trucks with electric barges.
“All Lithuanian companies, especially those that are state-owned, must strive for a green course and a sustainable economy not only in the final result but also across all intermediate chains. As logistics chains become more sustainable, advanced solutions are integrated into a single chain and deliver maximum benefits. Water transport is the most ecological, zero accident, unlimited and cost-effective of all modes.”