More delays in diesel train upgrade tender

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The €22m project for modernizing diesel trains will not be completed by the extended deadline on June 30, and the Latvian government on Tuesday is expected to grant another extension until September 20, reported LETA Monday.

The agreement over upgrading 19 DR1A diesel trains was signed on January 31, 2014, and the original deadline was late September 2015 but then it was extended until June 30, 2016.

The Transport Ministry said that yet another deadline extension was necessary due to several factors, notably the fact that certain defects had been discovered after putting into operation the first group of the upgraded trains and parts from the trains in the fifth and sixth groups had been used to correct those defects but suppliers from Russia had been slow in making the delivery of spare parts and some parts still had not been received.

The Latvian state-owned rail passenger carrier Pasazieru Vilciens has asked for a repeated extension of the deadline to ensure completion of the project and avoid the risk of losing €10m EU funding. The company claims that the diesel train upgrading project will be completed by September 20.

The Transport Ministry pointed out that the first three groups of upgraded trains, each of three trains, have been put into operation on May 6, May 30 and June 10 this respectively, and the fourth group is to be handed over to Pasazieru Vilciens before June 30.

The fifth group is to be delivered by July 15, and the sixth group consisting of four trains is to be delivered by September 15. The ministry will inspect the project implementation ahead of the Cabinet meeting expected to grant yet another deadline extension.

The total cost of the project is nearly €22m, of which about €9m comes from the EU Cohesion Fund. Some of the EU financing was already lost when the previous deadline was missed.

It is planned to claim a late delivery fine up to €2.2m or 10% of the agreement amount from the contractor, DMU Vilcieni general partnership, for its failure to meet the deadlines for delivery of upgraded diesel trains, Andris Lubans, CEO of Pasazieru Vilciens, told LETA earlier.

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