Wide competition ensured for construction of Rail Baltica main line in Latvia

In the first round of the largest international tender for the construction of Rail Baltica main line in Latvia, 6 associations applied, consisting of 17 highly-experienced construction companies representing a wide geographical area from a total of eight countries (France, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Italy, China, Turkey and South Korea).  

The aim of the tender is an early involvement of the construction company in the provision of Rail Baltica railway line infrastructure construction works in Latvia, not including the area of Riga city.

The procurement commission will in particular assess the candidates’ compliance with the procurement qualification requirements, including previous experience in railway construction in accordance with European Union standards.

Applications for the international competition have been submitted by: 

  • Webuild NGE-TSO JV, association formed by French companies NGE Contracting SASU, TSO SAS and Italian company Webuild S.p.A;
  • OHLA — GULERMAK Rail Baltica Joint Venture, consisting of Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A.,  Gülermak Ağır Sanayi İnşaat ve Taahhüt A.Ş.un Gülermak Sp. z o.o. (Spain, Turkey, Poland); 
  • E.R.B. Rail Baltica JV, which includes Eiffage Génie Civil SAS, Budimex S.A. and Rizzani de Eccher S.p.A (France, Poland, Italy); 
  • Association formed by Aldesa Construcciones S.A., China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, LLC “TEK Baltic” (Spain, China, Latvia);  
  • Association formed by Turkish companies IC İÇTAŞ İNŞAAT SANAYİ VE TİCARET A.Ş. and DOĞUŞ İNŞAAT VE TİCARET A.Ş.;  
  • Association DL E&C-Lotte E&C-Nurol, which consists of two South Korean and Turkish companies DL E&C Co., Ltd., Lotte Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. and Nurol Construction and Trade Inc.  

The Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits emphasizes that “in this geopolitical situation, the implementation of the Rail Baltica project must be ensured as soon as possible, creating a new, strong transport corridor and strengthening European connectivity. In the context of the events in Ukraine, it is important to realize that the Rail Baltica project goes beyond the passenger and freight transport opportunities. Rail Baltica transport corridor is also vital for ensuring the safety, well-being and basic functions of the state. We expect that EDZL will provide a professional procurement of the construction of the Rail Baltica main line in accordance with the highest international standards which is important for the further progress of the project.”

Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas (EDZL) Chairman of the Board Kaspars Vingris: “The activity of contractors in this competition is assessed as large enough, taking into account high requirements for applicants, which are appropriate to the scale of the project. The first stage of the procurement should also be successfully assessed because no complaint was received during the procurement which would lead to the suspension or change of the initially determined procurement requirements. In total, the organizer of the tender received 83 questions from potential bidders, to which the procurement commission provided response.

We are pleased that significant, internationally recognized construction companies with many years of experience in the construction of high-speed railway infrastructure have applied for participation in the main line construction works. For the first time in competitions organized by the EDZL, the geographical area represented by potential candidates is so broad, even exceeding Europe. 

Previous experience shows that companies are ready to participate in the implementation of Rail Baltica projects, forming associations that create synergies between the best knowledge, experience and practice, creating a highly competent teams for the implementation of works.”

The procurement commission plans to transfer the requirements of the second stage of the tender to the qualified tenderers at the beginning of April this year in order to receive offers of the tenderers in September 2022. It is planned to conclude the contract with the winner of the second procurement stage at the end of 2022 and start construction works within the first half of 2023.

It has been already reported that the company Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas announced the largest procurement for the construction of a railway line in Latvia on 12 November last year. The aim of the competition “Rail Baltica main line construction works in Latvia” is an early involvement of the construction company in ensuring  the construction of Rail Baltica railway line infrastructure in Latvia not including the area of Riga city.

The winner of the competition will have to ensure construction works of the railway main route of Rail Baltica in the territory of Latvia outside the area of Riga city for more than 200 km, including preparation of the territory, construction of embankments, railway bridges, roads and transports, relocation of engineering networks and construction of tracks. Taking into account the volume of the tender works, the candidate must have many years of experience in the construction of railways and other engineering infrastructure. The procurement organizer hopes to attract construction companies with an annual turnover corresponding to the scale of the project.

Previous experience in implementing the Rail Baltica project in Latvia shows that Latvian construction companies form associations with foreign professionals, approbating local and global experience in the implementation of such projects. An international competition will allow to choose the best combination of costs and professional experience.

The tender takes place in two stages: the first will be the selection of candidates and the second will include the evaluation and negotiation of initial offers submitted by tenderers following with the submission of final tenders and the conclusion of a procurement contract.
More information on the terms of the competition can be found here.

Along with this large-scale competition, an international competition is taking place for Rail Baltica mainline construction supervision services, where applications for  participation from potential candidates are expected until 5th of April  this year.   

The total length of the Rail Baltica railway corridor in Latvia is approximately 260 km starting at the Lithuania-Latvia border and crossing 10 municipal territories: Bauska, Ķekava, Olaine, Mārupe county, the capital city Riga towards the direction of Estonia through Salaspils, Ropaži, Sigulda, Saulkrasti and Limbaži counties.

Up to 85% of the project is financed from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility with the remaining part being ensured by the Latvian state budget.