TALLINN - The council of Estonia’s state-owned port operator Tallinna Sadam declared the offer of Russian company Rail Garant as the best among bids that were submitted for operating the new Muuga port container terminal area, reports Aripaev Online. Rail Garant is one of the biggest transport companies in Russia and joins 11 railway and container cargo and expediting companies. The concern has 17,000 railcars and by 2013 should have 50,000, which guarantees the company a position among the five largest transport firms in Russia.
Rail Garant is owned by Sergei Gushtsshin, Nikolai Falin and Sergei Smyslov.
Tallinna Sadam held over the past year talks with around ten potential terminal operators, two of which submitted bids to operate the new terminal area that the port operator has built. Tallinna Sadam council chairman Neinar Seli said that the deciding factor in making the decision was Rail Garant’s novel business plan to use the terminal for Russian export, which means new possibilities for those importing to Russia, since ships can thus transport full containers in both directions.
“Rail Garant’s business plan increases the potential of Port of Tallinn in the region, brings more ship routes here and raises the attractiveness of the state among foreign investors,” said Seli. He added that the decision of the council also creates competition in a container market that has been governed by one company so far, and helps to boost the cargo turnover of the state owned railway firm Eesti Raudtee.
Seli also considered the cooperation experience of Rail Garant with German cargo handler Hoyer, also important as it brings international experience and connections.
According to press reports, the other contestant was Estonian container terminal operator Muuga CT, which belongs to Transiidikeskus and operates a terminal next to the new terminal area. The extension of the Muuga container terminal area cost one billion kroons (64.1 million euros) in investments from Tallinna Sadam, and the operator of the terminal has to invest just as much in it, newspapers have written.