New passenger train procurement tender announced

The Pasažieru Vilciens (PV) rail transport company has announced a tender for delivering suburban electric trains and the equipment needed for maintaining them, the LETA news agency reported on Monday.

The tender includes delivering suburban electric trains and the equipment necessary for their maintenance, along with instructing the personnel.

The tender also includes delivering spare parts for the trains. 

The length of the contract is 36 months. The tender is open until October 30, 10 PM. 

The previous two tenders had failed. The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal probe into the failed train procurement deal and forwarded the case to the State Police for investigation about the first, failed train tender. 

The prosecutor's office had revised the application of the Transport Ministry submitted on Dec. 21, 2012, on the suspended train procurement, and assessed the attached documents.

The probe discovered that the decision of the Pasazieru Vilciens board on Oct. 3, 2012, sending an announcement to Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A. (CAF) on suspending the agreement on supply and maintenance of trains signed on Apr. 2, 2012, contains indications of crime, and a decision was made on March 21 to launch a criminal procedure. The case has been sent to the police for pre-trial investigation, said Senberga.

The Latvian Transport Ministry as the shareholder of Pasazieru Vilciens on Oct. 15, 2012, decided to ask the law enforcement agencies to assess the liability of the company's former management in relation to the tender for purchase of new trains.

The company’s new board had pointed out that the previous board was responsible for signing of the agreement with the Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), which was declared as the winner of the tender, even though the agreement was inconsistent with the tender requirements, which might result in Latvia losing 100 million euros of financing from the Cohesion Fund that was earmarked for purchase of new trains.

Pasazieru Vilciens held the tender for supply of 34 new electric trains and seven diesel trains, and CAF was declared as the winner of the tender. The procurement costs were estimated at 144 million lats (€205 mln), of which 100 million lats was a co-financing from the EU Cohesion Fund.

CAF filed for a mediation procedure with a Stockholm court of arbitration, insisting that the contract was still valid despite the parties' disagreements on the amendments to this contract.

Afterwards, a new tender was announced on November 25, 2013 for the rental of new electric trains for the period of 15 years. After long delays the tender was cancelled. The Swiss Stadler Bussnang company had won the tender, but an agreement was not concluded due to the company's financial troubles.

As a result, Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss sacked the board of the company in July 2014.

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