Development of transport infrastructure

An important activity of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego carried out as part of supporting the sustainable socio-economic development of the country is financing the development of transport infrastructure through transport funds operated by the Bank:

  • National Road Fund;
  • Railway Fund;
  • Inland Waterways Fund.

National Road Fund

The National Road Fund (NRF) was established at BGK in 2004 under the Act on Toll Motorways and the National Road Fund of 27 October 1994. It constitutes an important extra-budgetary financing mechanism for the development of road infrastructure in Poland.

The NRF keeps and pays funds for the construction and alteration of national roads. Continuous sources of financing allocated for this purpose, which primarily include the proceeds from the fuel charge, EU funds and proceeds from fees for using national roads, are supplemented by BGK by obtaining external financing through the issue of bonds and taking out loans, mainly from the European Investment Bank.

The key objectives financed by the NRF are:

  • construction of motorways, expressways, city by-passes and other national roads;
  • construction and use of toll collection systems on pay sections of national roads (e-Toll);
  • fulfilment of obligations towards operators of toll sections of A1, A2 and A4 motorways.

After 2004, virtually all national roads, including motorways and expressways, were built with the use of NRF funds:

  • PLN 203.3 billion – total expenditures of the NRF on the development of road infrastructure in 2004–2021;
  • more than 1,340 km of motorway sections and 2,670 km of expressway sections, whose construction was financed by the fund.

The total expenditures of the NRF on the development of road infrastructure in 2021 amounted to PLN 15.7 billion, including on:

1.5
PLN billion
motorways
10.6
PLN billion
expressways
1.1
PLN billion
by-passes

In 2021, more than 425 km of roads were opened (56.5 km of A1 motorway, 322.7 km of expressways, 46.6 km of national roads), the construction of which was financed from the NRF.

The NRF has a crucial role in the financing of multiannual government road programmes. In 2021, the fund’s resources were used to finance:

  • The National Road Construction Programme for 2014–2023 (with an outlook to 2025) – adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2015 and updated regularly, the largest road project in the history of Poland with a spending limit of PLN 178.4 billion, a vital one for the national transport policy and matching the objectives of the government Strategy for Responsible Development;
  • Programme for the Construction of 100 Bypasses for 2020–2030 – adopted by a resolution of the Council of Ministers in April 2021, with a spending limit of PLN 28 billion. Its investment objective is the construction of 100 bypasses on the national road network with a total length of about 820 km, and its main assumptions are: moving traffic out of cities most affected by nuisance resulting from transit traffic, improving road safety, improving the quality of life of residents by reducing air pollution caused by road transport and reducing noise, as well as improving the capacity of the road network, which will increase the pace of development of both regions and the entire country;
  • Programme of Safe Road Infrastructure for 2021–2024 – adopted by a resolution of the Council of Ministers in February 2021, with a spending limit of PLN 2.5 billion. Its objective is to improve road safety on national roads by increasing the protection of traffic participants and creating safe road infrastructure.

In 2021, we transferred funds from five loans taken out by BGK for the NRF at the European Investment Bank in a total amount of PLN 2.1 billion. BGK concluded two new financial agreements with the EIB concerning:

  • S6 Tri-City Ring Road” loan of EUR 240 million, intended to co-finance the construction of a 39-kilometre section of a new bypass of the Tri-City, which will improve road connections in the Tri-City and facilitate access to the ports in Gdynia and Gdańsk;
  • “S14 Lodz Western Bypass” loan in the amount of EUR 200 million, which will be used for co-financing of construction of a 26-kilometre section of the western bypass of the city of Łódź along the S14 expressway, which will enable moving transit traffic and most of heavy traffic out of Łódź, Pabianice, Zgierz, Konstantynów Łódzki and Aleksandrów Łódzki, shorten travel time, improve travel comfort and safety in the region, and ultimately connect the S8 expressway with the A2 motorway.

In 2021, the Fund continued to finance the extension of the national motorway and expressway network, including:

  • several sections of the A1 motorway in the Łódzkie and Śląskie provinces have been opened to traffic, thanks to which the route can be used along almost its entire length from the Tri-City to the southern border of Poland. Only one section of the A1 between Piotrków Trybunalski and Kamieńsk remains under construction and will be opened by autumn 2022;
  • important sections of the international S19 Via Carpatia route between Lublin and Rzeszów were made available to drivers, as well as sections of S61 Via Baltica route: Śniadowo – Łomża, Kolno – Stawiski – Szczuczyn and Wysokie – Raczki;
  • the S7 expressway was significantly extended, the sections Mława – Strzegowo and Strzegowo – Pieńki north of Warsaw were opened to traffic, as well as two sections facilitating travel on the route from Warsaw to Kraków;
  • the following roads were opened to traffic: the last (4.6 km long) section of the S2 route, constituting a part of the southern ring road of Warsaw (between the Puławska – Warsaw Wilanów junction, including the tunnel under the Ursynów district), sections of the S3 road in the Zachodniopomorskie and Dolnośląskie provinces as well as ring roads of Stalowa Wola and Nisko, Myśliborz, Łańcut and Niemodlin.

Railway Fund

The Railway Fund (RF) was established at BGK in 2006 under the Act on the Railway Fund of 16 December 2005. The Fund has a long-term nature. Its primary task is to provide additional funding for investment in and maintenance of railway infrastructure, in the scope defined in multi-annual transport infrastructure development programmes. Therefore, the Railway Fund is one of the main tools of the state transport policy.

Its purpose is to provide financing for:

  • preparation of the construction and reconstruction of railway lines;
  • repairs and maintenance of railway lines;
  • liquidation of unused railway lines;
  • running costs of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. related to railway infrastructure management;
  • capital investments carried out by PKP PLK S.A.;
  • tasks of local governments in individual provinces related to the purchase, modernisation and repair of rolling stock used for the carriage of passengers;
  • co-financing of the activities of railway infrastructure management entities, which cannot be financed from fees for the use of the railway infrastructure;
  • purchase and modernisation of rolling stock used for diagnosing, maintenance, repair or construction of railway infrastructure, and rescue operations;
  • acquisition of shares in PKP PLK S.A. from Polskie Koleje Państwowe S.A. by the State Treasury, represented by the minister in charge of transport,
  • consultancy services.

A strategic document establishing the financial framework and conditions for railroad investments is the annually updated “National Railway Programme until 2023. Railway infrastructure managed by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.” (NRP). The NRP includes all investments of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. with the use of financial resources, including resources of the Railway Fund at the disposal of the minister competent for transport. The NRP implements the “Strategy for Sustainable Development of Transport until 2030” adopted by the Council of Ministers, which aims to improve the safety of traffic participants and the efficiency of the transport sector by creating a sustainable, innovative and user-friendly transport system.

The Railway Fund is also engaged in the multiannual programme “Support for financing the costs of railway infrastructure management, including its maintenance and repairs, until 2023”. The latest update, introduced under Resolution No. 157/2021 of the Council of Ministers of 26 November 2021, set the limit of funds from the Railway Fund for programme implementation at PLN 7,524.4 million. The programme contributes to improving the availability of transport and integration of communication in different regions of Poland.

Supporting the development of rail transport through the modernisation of rolling stock and infrastructure has a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption and noise. Objectives pursued by the Railway Fund include:

  • decent work and economic growth;
  • infrastructure innovation;
  • reduced inequalities;
  • sustainable cities and communities;
  • climate action.

PLN 17.5 billion – total amount of payments from the Railway Fund on railway infrastructure in 2006–2021, including:

8.3
PLN billion
expenditure on construction and alteration of railway lines
1.5
PLN billion
financing of purchase and modernisation of rolling stock and organisation of passenger transport services
4
PLN billion
expenditure on management of railway infrastructure

PLN 1.6 billion – total amount of payments in 2021, including:

0.3
PLN billion
expenditure on construction and alteration of railway lines
0.1
PLN billion
financing of purchase and modernisation of rolling stock
0.6
PLN billion
expenditure on management of railway infrastructure
0.6
PLN billion
purchase of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. shares from Polskie Koleje Państwowe S.A. by the State Treasury

In 2021, 50 tasks consisting in the construction and alteration of railway lines were co-financed by the fund. Payments were also made to 16 provincial governments to finance the purchase and modernisation of rolling stock used in passenger transport.

Inland Waterways Fund

The Inland Waterways Fund (IWF) was established at Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego in 2003. Its purpose is to support inland waterway transport through the provision of financial support for modernisation of the shipping fleet as well as other projects related to the restructuring of inland navigation, including projects designed to improve environmental protection and the safety of navigation.

In 2019, a new law became effective, which changed the way the fund operated before, extended the catalogue of eligible beneficiaries of the fund, and introduced new payout titles. The new law, just like the previous regulation, did not specify any time frame for the operation of the Inland Waterways Fund.

 

The Inland Waterways Fund implements the “Strategy for Responsible Development until 2020 (with an outlook until 2030)” adopted by the Council of Ministers, which assumes a shift from the existing support for all sectors/industries towards supporting strategic sectors that can become the drivers of Polish economy. This will make it more innovative and facilitate efficient use of physical and human potential.

Inland water transport is considered to be the most environmentally friendly, given the low energy consumption and low emissions of air pollutants (generated directly and indirectly) and carbon dioxide per tonne of cargo carried. Thus, the development of inland waterway transport contributes to protecting the climate and improving air quality.

The main source of the fund’s financing are subsidies from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

The fund’s performance until 31 December 2021:

56
preferential loans granted, totalling PLN 48.1 million

In 2021:

  • 5 preferential loans were granted for an aggregate of PLN 1.9 million;
  • 14 applications for refinancing the purchase of vessel equipment for a total of PLN 0.2 million were approved;
  • 3 preferential loans were partially cancelled for a total of PLN 0.8 million.