Sund & Bælt ‘s experience in the establishment of infrastructure facilities has been highlighted as a model for the rest of Europe.
The incoming president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has put European infrastructure at the top of the EU Commission’s agenda. The goal is to invest EUR 300 billion in Europe’s infrastructure, which has become worn and outdated over the years.
The money for new infrastructure will come from private investors among other sources. The challenge of getting investors on board has fallen to Denmark’s Henning Christophersen, the former finance minister and European Commissioner. He has been put in charge of a three-man committee to persuade private investors, including pension funds, to support the European Commission’s initiative, according to the publication, Monday Morning.
Denmark is experienced
As well as money from the private sector, other financial models, such as the Danish state guarantee model, will prove useful in the rest of Europe. This is where Sund & Bælt’s experience of the model comes in.
In the Monday Morning article, Kaj V. Holm, Finance Director at Sund & Bælt, points out that Denmark has excellent operational experience in terms of costly, major infrastructure investment:
“The state guarantees are important for projects associated with high risks, like ours. This applies to environmental concerns, regulatory approvals and capital expenditure until revenue from projects based on user payment begins to come in. Private investors will demand high returns if the government guarantees that we have, are absent” according to Holm in Monday Morning.
The Christophersen committee is to report back to the European Commission in spring 2015.