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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 09.04.2020, 04:29

Results of electric train procurement might lead to liquidation of PV - Linkaits

BC, Riga, 21.05.2019.Print version
The results of joint-stock company Pasazieru Vilciens' (Passenger Trains, PV) procurement on the purchase of new electric trains could lead to the liquidation of the company itself, Minister of Transport Talis Linkaits told members of the press today, referred LETA.

Linkaits said that this is likely not the final decision in regards to the mentioned procurement, as it will most likely be appealed.

The minister also pointed out to Finance Minister Janis Reirs' (New Unity) comments that the reputational problems of the winning bid could threaten the use of EU funds for the procurement.

Linkaits said that PV has become a hostage in a ''clash of various interests''.

At the same time, he added that none of the decisions made yet ''are helping to move Latvia forward for the purchase of new electric trains''. He also said that there are no clear solutions how he sees how this procurement could move forward at the moment.

The minister also refrained from answering whether all of the mentioned concerns will lead to the winning company to ultimately be disallowed from the procurement. He also did not comment whether the project could move forward without EU co-financing.

''I think we can return to looking into the liquidation of PV as a company as a whole. We are closer to this than ever before,'' Linkaits said.

As reported, taking into account the Procurement Monitoring Bureau's decision, Pasazieru Vilciens has revised bids submitted by prospective electric train suppliers, and selected Czech company Skoda Vagonka's (Skoda) offer as the winning bid, the company's representative Egons Alers told LETA.

Skoda is offering to manufacture 32 new electric trains for Pasazieru Vilciens. Together with the equipment necessary for the new trains' maintenance, spare parts for a five-year period of time, and personnel training programs, the total contract amount will be EUR 241,888,753.

"According to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau's instructions, we have thoroughly reassessed the bids, involving technical and legal experts," said Pasazieru Vilciens board chairman Rodzers Janis Grigulis.

LETA also reported, four companies offered to supply 32 new electric trains for Pasazieru Vilciens - Spanish company Patentes Talgo S.L. (Talgo), Polish subsidiary of the Swiss company Stadler, Spain's Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), and Skoda.

Pasazieru Vilciens initially picked Talgo's bid, which offered to provide the new trains for EUR 225.303 mln. However, after Skoda Vagonka and CAF filed protests against the negotiations procedure, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau banned Pasazieru Vilciens to sign contract with Talgo. After a repeat review of the bids, Pasazieru Vilciens decided to sign contract with Skoda, which was asking EUR 241.888 million for the new trains.

Pasazieru Vilciens reported that the tender’s original winner, Spanish company Talgo, had offered to supply the trains for a lower price but that the maintenance costs offered by Skoda for the trains’ 35-year lifecycle were lower, which meant lower overall costs.

After reviewing a complaint filed by Talgo, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau in March 2019 banned Pasazieru Vilciens from concluding a train supply contract with Skoda and ordered Pasazieru Vilciens to reassess all bids.

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