RIGA - Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railroads, LDz) is ready to continue supporting reconstruction of the Ukrainian rail industry already now, points out LDz board chairman Rinalds Plavnieks.
Latvian and Ukrainian ministers and industry leaders held a meeting at the Transport Ministry earlier this week, which was also attended by Plavnieks. During the meeting, various issues important for strengthening the cooperation between the two countries were discussed, including LDz opportunities to participate in maintenance and reconstruction of the Ukrainian rail infrastructure and rolling stock, and diverting Ukrainian cargos to Latvian ports using the Latvian rail infrastructure.
During the meeting, Oleh Nemchinov, Minister of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers commented on the need to develop alternative routes for Ukrainian freight transport routes and said that Ukraine saw Latvia as a potential ally in the rail transport network and logistics chains, and in the rail industry in general. He also said he believed that Ukraine would soon be able to regain complete access to the Black Sea.
Plavnieks said that Latvia and Ukraine had established and were planning to expand cooperation in cargo transportation on the North-South Corridor, shipping cargos from Odessa to Latvian ports and further on to Scandinavia and other countries.
"These plans had to be altered due to the geopolitics and the connection between the 1,520-millimetre gauge railroads of Kyiv and Riga via Belarus can no longer be used for these purposes. However, new freight routes have emerged through the territory of Poland which, although technologically more complicated, more time-consuming and with a relatively lower throughput capacity, offer a solution for transport of Ukrainian cargo by rail, and they need to be developed and used as extensively as possible," said Plavnieks.
Participants in the meeting paid particular attention to readiness of LDz to participate in maintenance and reconstruction of the Ukrainian rail industry, providing its services in all the key rail industry sectors, including in maintenance and reconstruction of rail infrastructure, installing signaling systems, repairs to rolling stock, and others.
Plavnieks said that railroad companies with locomotive fleets prefer the most effective locomotive repair options of the highest quality. LDZ Ritosa Sastava Serviss (LDZ Rolling Stock Service) has already been using its know-how, skills and technical equipment to provide locomotive repair services not only on the Latvian market, but also for locomotives based in Ukraine, and in the current circumstances the company is ready to resume overhauls and even modernization of locomotives based in Ukraine in order to ensure their functionality and extend their service life.
During the meeting, representatives of Ukraine praised the experience, technical capabilities and capacity of LDZ Ritosa Sastava Serviss in this area. Furthermore, the company already in 2021 received a certificate for provision of locomotive repair services to owners of locomotives based in Ukraine.