Company briefs - 2005-12-07

  • 2005-12-07
A planned auction of Lithuania's stake in Elta, a news agency, failed to attract a single bidder. It was the government's second attempt to auction off its 39.51 percent stake in the company, which is now controlled by the Respublika publishing house. The government had hoped to receive 2.1 million litas (600,000 euros) for the stake.

Wizz Air, a Hungary-based budget airline, began launching flights from Kaunas on Dec. 2. Wizz's public relations director said that the company would operate flights from Kaunas to Warsaw and offer connections to Paris, Liverpool, Dortmund, Malmo-Copenhagen, London and Stockholm. Depending on demand, the carrier will also consider direct flights from Kaunas to Britain, Germany and Ireland. Wizz Air is the second low-cost air carrier, after Ryanair, to launch flights from Kaunas Airport.

Estonian-owned Kolle Beton, a maker of concrete and building materials, said it would invest some 9.5 million euros in a new cement production facility in Riga. Kolle Beton board chairman Aleksandrs Kravcenko said Kolle Beton would sell its products in Latvia though it would also try to enter other markets. This year, the price for cement and other building materials has skyrocketed, causing considerable concern among Latvian and Lithuanian government officials.

Danish company Cowi has begun the feasibility study of the Rail Baltica fast train project that would link Warsaw, Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn. Latvian Transport Ministry investment department director Andulis Zidkovs said that the study would last for about a year, but interim reports were expected to be made sooner. The study is being financed by the EU Cohesion Fund. It will show how much investment will be needed for project implementation and suggest likely sources of investment, as well as calculate the time needed to return investments. The study will review various options for renewing direct railway traffic between the Baltic states and Central and Western Europe and examine the possibility of a new railway with standard European gauge.