Stadler waiting for answers on train lease decision

  • 2014-08-06
  • From wire report

RIGA - Swiss train manufacturer Stadler says it is disappointed at the decision made by Latvia’s passenger train operator Pasazieru vilciens to halt the train procurement process, reports
Stadler representative in Latvia Oskars Firmanis said that his company has yet to receive official information from Pasazeiru vilciens as well.

The company says that it understands the Transport Ministry’s desire to work for the good of the public and gain the necessary confidence regarding the financial aspects of the deal.
Firmanis emphasized that Stadler does not understand what suddenly changed in the financial situation of Pasazieru vilciens after the company was announced the winner of the tender.
It was the new board at Pasazieru vilciens that decided on July 23 to halt the procurement of new trains, saying that going on with the procurement would be damaging to the company’s interests.
By end-August, the board is planning to draw up a strategy for the replacement of the company’s rolling stock by 2016.
South Korean company Hyundai Rotem Company was disqualified from the tender because its bid failed to meet requirements.

After the announcement of tender results, CEO of Pasazieru vilciens Artis Birkmanis declared that additional subsidies would not be required from the state for the train leasing from Stadler, and that the leasing will be financed using Pasazieru vilciens’ funds.

A couple of days later, on July 7, Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss announced that a new Pasazieru vilciens board would be appointed. Matiss previously explained that the former board was incapable of managing its duties.
It was also unclear whether the company would be capable of funding the train leasing project without requesting additional funds from the state budget, furthermore, Stadler’s offer was considerably more expensive than it was in Estonia. A great deal of lease funding calculations are based on “assumptions and interpretation, and there is no document to verify that the required funding will be available,” Matiss said.

On July 8, a new board was appointed for Pasazieru vilciens with Andris Lubans as the board chairman and Maris Bremze and Mikus Perse as board members.
In the two weeks after taking office, the new board reviewed and approved the company’s report for the 2013 financial year. The board had also prepared amendments to the company’s 2014 budget, which were aimed at optimizing the company’s resources and reducing losses by at least 5 million euros.