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Baltkrievijā ražoto liftu maiņa notiek lēni

Old elevators still a pressing issue across Rīga

Keeping elevators in technical order has been a challenge since Russia invaded Ukraine. Almost all the old elevators in the houses built during the Soviet Union are made in Belarus. “Riga House Manager” says the long-term answer would be a replacement, but most apartment building residents can't afford it, Latvian Television reported on March 25.

“Riga House Manager” is responsible for more than 1,300 elevators. Most are old, loud, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous Soviet legacies. They should be changed, but swapping one elevator for a brand new one would cost around €60,000. And usually, there's more than one elevator in a building.

“The average elevator is manufactured in the Soviet Union. Most often he was produced in Belarus, the Mogieleva factory,” said Krists Leiškalns, representative of Riga House Manager Ltd.

A few years before Russia invaded Ukraine, residents tended to choose to swap the old Belarusian product for a new Belarusian product. The reason is that replacement is relatively simple and also cheaper than European alternatives. The supply of spare parts is now a pressing issue.

"Riga Elevators", on the other hand, indicated that there are alternatives – to restore everything, but to leave the old cabin. Aigars Cunskis, customer service manager of Riga Elevators Ltd, showed a renovated one. 

“This is the elevator lifting mechanism, so-called motor winch, speed limiter, downstairs there is a tensioner device by the cabin,” said Aigars Cunskis. These parts were manufactured in Italy and components for the control station in Germany.

“All components are predominantly German. There is absolutely nothing coming from Russia and Belarus,” Cunskis explained.

The upgrade, or the replacement of parts made in Belarus for European products, costs around €20,000, with a new lift with design work costing around €60,000.

Similar sums were also invoked by “Riga House Manager”, mentioning that the repair of old elevators is becoming more expensive and, in most cases, now the spare parts have to be waited for considerably longer from different manufacturers in different countries.

Maintaining old lifts will only get more expensive, and replacements or renovating everything can't be done without public funding. It has already been discussed, but there are no deadlines yet.

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