This week RB Rail AS, the Baltic joint venture and lead implementer of the Rail Baltica project, concluded series of online meetings with the potential suppliers of rail infrastructure components. The direct engagement with the rail supply industry follows after the Rail Baltica component sourcing strategy, which was completed in the end of 2019 in collaboration with TUV Sud and University of Graz. The objectives of the meetings, among other, was to learn in detail the product availability on the market and relevant technical characteristics, and to assess available capacities and lead times as well as to collect supplier expectations towards planned component procurement.
In order to ensure optimum component availability for the entire Rail Baltica in sync with a dynamic project deployment schedule, the joint venture aims to establish a system of long-term framework agreements with component suppliers to ensure component availability to future track construction contractors through call-offs. Thanks to a high level of interest from suppliers, RB Rail AS met with 20 companies in the first round of meetings which focuses on the following four initial component categories: rails, turnouts, sleepers with fastenings, and ballast, as well as related components. Moreover, the suppliers feature a broad geographical representation, ranging from local Baltic companies or international manufacturers located in the Baltics to various companies from Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Poland as well as more distant locations.
“Rail Baltica will require quantities of various railway infrastructure components and materials on an unprecedented scale for modern Baltics. This presents an opportunity to develop a system of consolidated procurement, enabling Rail Baltica not only achieve favourable pricing and delivery conditions, but also ensure consistent quality, full interoperability and major life-cycle benefits towards the future performance and maintenance of Rail Baltica,” says Kaspars Briškens, RB Rail AS head of Strategy and Development. “We are doing our utmost to maintain and strengthen our reputation in the supplier community for procurement transparency, fair competition and joint value creation for Baltics, Europe and beyond.“
The Rail Baltica team will use the valuable feedback from the industry to further refine the upcoming technical specifications for individual components and component groups, as well as to elaborate a detailed procurement strategy. We currently expect the first tenders to be announced in the fourth quarter of this year, aiming to sign the first framework agreements by mid-2021. The second round of supplier consultations will be upcoming and shall focus on such areas as, for example, concrete, including precast, elements, noise walls, fencing materials, cabling/piping elements and other.