TALLINN - The tender announced for the contract to operate ferries between the port of Montu on the Estonian island of Saaremaa and Ventspils in northwestern Latvia failed, regional newspaper Meie Maa reported.
The only company that displayed interest in the tender was Estonian operator Kihnu Veeteed, which asked for an adjournment of the deadline of submissions.
"It is with regret that we have to admit that the expected offer was never submitted. At the same time, this does not come as a surprise as if everything was that simple, the service would apparently be operating now," deputy mayor of the Saaremaa municipality Marili Niits said, adding that with that the tender is finished.
"How we will move forward will become clear shortly," the deputy municipality mayor said.
AS Kihnu Veeteed board member Andres Laasma told the newspaper that after a long analysis the company found that they don't have the kind of vessel that could service the Montu-Ventspils route three months a year and be in service elsewhere during the rest of the year.
"In a tender so wrought with nuances, there are also many other reasons of course which poised us towards giving up the offer," Niits added.
The original deadline for submissions was 10 a.m. on Aug. 23. The tender committee granted the potential operator's request to put off the deadline until Sept. 30.
The Saaremaa municipality government announced a competitive tender procedure with negotiation to find the operator of the Montu-Ventspils route on July 1. AS Kihnu Veeteed was the only company to apply to take part in the tender.