Four candidates apply for railway electrification project in Latvia
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.»