Five companies still in contention for big Rail Baltica building contract

The first round of the largest international tender for the construction of the Rail Baltica mainline in Latvia has been completed, with five of the initial six applicants proceeding to the next round of the tender.

RB Rail, the joint venture of the Baltic states which is in charge of the 5.8-billion-euro Rail Baltic  project said the five potential builders of the mainline are: Webuild NGE-TSO JV, a group of Italian and French companies; OHLA – GULERMAK Rail Baltica Joint Venture, formed by Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A., Gülermak Ağır Sanayi İnşaat ve Taahhüt A.Ş. and Gülermak Sp. z o.o. (Spain, Turkey, Poland); E.R.B. Rail Baltica JV, formed by Eiffage Génie Civil SAS, Budimex S.A. and Rizzani de Eccher S.p.A (France, Poland, Italy); Aldesa Construcciones S.A., China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Limited Liability Company TEK Baltic (Spain, China, Latvia); and finally Turkish companies IC İÇTAŞ İNŞAAT SANAYİ VE TİCARET A.Ş. and DOĞUŞ İNŞAAT VE TİCARET A.Ş.

“This result confirms the positive experience we’ve had so far with the competition since attracting experienced and well–matured construction companies are a significant factor in further implementation of the Rail Baltica project. In this case we aim to attract partner already in early phase to ensure the construction and cost-optimization potential and expertise of the chosen partner at the end of design phase of the mainline,” said Kaspars Vingris, Chairman of the Board of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, the Latvian portion of RB Rail.

Documentation preparation works for the second round of the procurement, in which applicants will submit financial and technical offers, is under way, RB Rail said. Following the completion of the tender at an unspecified future date, "it is planned that the construction works outside Rīga will start in 2023. Priority construction works will be carried out in the direction from Riga Airport to the Latvian / Lithuanian border and the Salaspils Intermodal Freight Terminal," it added.

The first construction works are planned in Bauska Municipality near Iecava, where a future Rail Baltica infrastructure maintenance facility will be located. During the construction of Rail Baltica, this maintenance facility will be used as a construction logistics base. The next works are likely to start with the objects of the highest level of engineering and technical complexity – new rail bridges over the Iecava and Mēmele rivers.

Separately on August 15 the Rail Baltica joint venture RB Rail announced a deadline extension for the procurement of the Rail Baltica energy subsystem design and construction for the entire Rail Baltica line, covering more than 870 km in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All potential partners are invited to submit their applications until 14 September 2022.

The procurement procedure is carried out in two stages and is planned to be concluded by the end of 2023. The energy subsystem scope covers the following key components: high voltage connection points, connection of traction power substations to the public high voltage electrical grids, traction power substations, overhead contact system, energy control and command system, and other components directly linked to energy subsystem. The size of the project itself is impressive – overall 870 km length of the double-track leads to the need for more than 2 000 km of catenary system, around 4 350 tonnes of copper materials, and 50 000 masts to be installed.

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