Four can­di­dates ap­ply for rail­way elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project in Latvia

Baltic News Network - - News -

The first phase of Lat­vian rail­way net­work elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project or­ga­nized by Lat­vian Rail­way has con­cluded. Dur­ing this phase, con­tenders were able to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions, con­firm­ing their de­sire to par­tic­i­pate in the project.

The pro­cure­ment com­mis­sion has re­ceived ap­pli­ca­tions and qual­i­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments from four con­tenders, as re­ported by Lat­vian Rail­way.

LDz re­ports that in­ter­est to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­cure­ment has been voiced by INABELEC, Siemens-TSO-BMGS, Co­bra-Arčers and LREC.

The pro­cure­ment com­mis­sion will re­view the ap­pli­ca­tions and qual­i­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments from can­di­dates. Once the re­view has been com­pleted, can­di­dates will be in­formed of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ten­der in writ­ing. LDz re­minds that the pro­cure­ment ap­plies to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the first stage of the rail­way net­work’s elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project. As part of this project, it is planned to elec­trify rail­way lines on the fol­low­ing sec­tions: Dau­gavpils – Krust­pils; Rezekne – Krust­pils; Krust­pils – Riga. It is planned to fin­ish the mod­ern­iza­tion of rail­way in­fra­struc­ture by 2023.

LDz notes that the pro­cure­ment project was put to­gether in co­op­er­a­tion with Pro­cure­ment Mon­i­tor­ing Bureau and JASPERS (Joint As­sis­tance to Sup­port Projects in Euro­pean Re­gions).

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with BNN, di­rec­tor of State Rail­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion Juris Ie­sal­nieks said that the project ‘may po­ten­tially leave Lat­vian tax­pay­ers with noth­ing’. He said: «If I, as head of the re­spon­si­ble state in­sti­tu­tion, were asked by state in­sti­tu­tions ad­vice on what should be done, I would say this – the risk is so mas­sive that the project needs to be halted im­me­di­ately. It should re­main idle un­til a re-as­sess­ment has been per­formed – the lat­est data col­lected, mis­takes fixed and a re­peated au­dit per­formed for the study used to base all cur­rent es­ti­mates on». Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Baltic As­so­ci­a­tion – Trans­port and Lo­gis­tics also pointed to­wards other flaws of the project: «Trans­port Min­istry and the prime min­is­ter keep the ac­tual price of rail­way elec­tri­fi­ca­tion project from res­i­dents – the to­tal price of the first stage of the project will be at least EUR 230 mil­lion larger and will ex­ceed EUR 670 mil­lion». BATL board mem­ber Ivars Land­ma­nis ex­plains: «For the project to func­tion nor­mally, the state will have to in­vest an­other EUR 230 mil­lion from bud­get funds, which is some­thing no one men­tions pub­licly. LDz will have to buy new elec­tric trains, which will cost around EUR 130 mil­lion. In ad­di­tion, ex­ist­ing rail­way sta­tions are not prop­erly equipped, and it will be nec­es­sary to ex­tend rail­way lines, which will also re­quire at least EUR 100 mil­lion of in­vest­ments. This means the project’s costs will thereby ex­ceed EUR 670 mil­lion, which is not some­thing of­fi­cials pub­licly ad­mit. We be­lieve no one re­ally speaks out loud about these costs, be­cause it is clear that with such sig­nif­i­cant state in­vest­ments this project will not pro­vide a re­turn of in­vest­ments and will only leave a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on rail­way freight tar­iffs.»

Zane Bitere/LETA

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