As it is known, State Audit has concluded its inspection of Riga Freeport’s Krievu Island infrastructure project. In its report, State Audit concludes that the initial goal and conditions necessary for the allocation of funding from the EU. This situation creates correction risks for up to 100% of EUR 77.2 million allocated by the European Union.
FM representative Aleksis Jarockis noted that State Audit’s supervised Krievu Island’s project has been considered a high-risk project from its beginning. At the same time, he adds that the ministry has been and will continue following the project’s development up until its completion to ensure financial corrections are not applied to the project so that Latvia would not have to finance the project without funding from the EU.
«There were many complications and problems during the project’s realization, including delays with procurement of construction services, changes to technical solutions and coordination of agreements with stevedore companies. It was concluded as a result of an increase with cargo turnover that it is only possible to relocate coal handling operations to Krievu Island. It is not possible, however, to relocate other operations to the island,» – said Jarockis.
This is why it has not been possible to fully achieve the main goal of the project – establish new port infrastructure on Krievu Island, relocate main port infrastructure, prevent environmental degradation and preservation of the port’s overall competitiveness.
Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, supervisory committee, Cabinet of Ministers and the Saeima have been kept up to date with the project’s progress and related risks. The same applies to keeping the European Commission up to date with current events to ensure the project retains EU funding.
«If there were risks or signs of violations, EU would not have extended the project’s realization term,» – added Jarockis.
It is currently planned to finish the project by the end of 2018, when the party responsible for the project’s realization plans to finish the relocation of port infrastructure from Andrejosta and Eksportosta in accordance with Riga City Council’s territorial planning document for 2018-2030.
«Based on plans detailed in this document and changed land lease conditions, the party responsible for the project plans to relocate bulk cargo, except coal and general cargo handling and storage operations, to a new location. The party has confirmed to Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry and the European Commission that established goals of the project will be achieved,» – noted Jarockis.
Transport Ministry and Finance Ministry will continue supervising the project. Recipient of the funding has an obligation to provide reports on progress once every quarter.