bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis
LatviaLatvia

BATL: intention to electrify railway line is either incompetent or is the scam of the century

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn spite of the industry’s calls over the past two years, Transport Ministry still has not provided a cargo attraction plan, a unified offer for our cooperation partners. Nor do we have a clearly defined transit strategy and development direction, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics.

Moreover – lately the transit industry has been experiencing cargo volume decline. To reduce the decline of cargoes, Ventspils port is forced to consider industrialization. Nothing suggests this situation could change in the near future.

It is mentioned that instead of listening to the industry’s opinion and commencing work on stabilization of the transit industry, Transport Ministry demonstrates the desire to realize railway electrification project at any cost. In addition, there is still no clarity in relation to the industry’s future development or predicted cargo volumes. «The ministry intends to spend EUR 690 million to EUR 1.3 billion on this, saying that it would improve ecological situation, refuse the use of diesel trains, increase of overall travel speed and length of trains to accommodate larger volumes of cargoes,» – BATL stated.

It is also emphasized that society is not provided with detailed information regarding the project’s impact on Latvia’s national economy in a long-term perspective. Possible risks are not explained in detail as well.

To recover the finances invested in the project worth EUR 1.3 billion, from which only EUR 347 million will be covered by the European Union, Latvia would have to accept a contract to guarantee transportation of no less than 40 million tons annually 40 years in advance. However, considering the geopolitical situation and the near-sighted decisions made by Latvian officials and declining cargo volumes, Latvia can only dream of such volumes, experts say.

It is reminded that historically Latvijas dzelzceļš and Latvian ports have always relied on Russian cargoes. Russia has begun developing its own ports. This means the country will gradually start diverting more and more of its cargoes to its own ports. As far as it is known at the moment, Russia has no plans to cancel this plan. Instead of searching for new cargo attraction routes, the ministry responsible for the industry claims with not economically rational reasons that electrification will somehow improve the country’s competitiveness.

There are currently no answers to the question regarding the planned electrification volumes:

-Will the electrification process apply to the entire railway network in a gradual manner or is it planned to affect one route at a time? If it is planned to electrify the railway only leading to Riga and Ventspils ports, it should be said that it would be clear to everyone that this project does not cost more than one billion euros.

-Where will Latvia even get the necessary amount of electricity for the railway? How much will this cost? How will this affect the price of electricity?

These are only some of the questions the ministry is not prepared to answer, BATL notes.

«It is clear that someone will have to pay for everything. But who? If cargo volumes continue to decline, which is likely, it will be necessary to recover the billion at the cost of cargoes, which means increasing tariffs. This will likely cause an avalanche affect and reduce the interest of cargo owners to lose interest in Baltic ports, choosing in favour of Russian ports, Klaipeda or Tallinn,» – notes BATL president Inga Antane.

It is also emphasized that such large-scale projects require industry and public support. But instead of allowing society to find out more about grandiose plans for the future, identifying risks and finding opportunities for discussions and coming up with solutions, the ministry has decided to classify the report on this project.

In the end, it is possible Latvia’s population will have to pay for this project, like people were forced to pay for Parex Bank. Transport Ministry’s haste to realize this project and excuses that it is necessary to get the next funding from EU withstands to criticisms, BATL states.

Ref: 103.109.109.6783


Leave a reply

20 complaints received in first 10 days of data protection regulation

In the first 100 days since adoption of European General Data Protection Regulation, Latvia’s Data State Inspectorate has received 20 data protection violation reports, said the centre’s director Daiga Avdejanova during a meeting of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee.

Ministry: non-banking lenders should assess clients’ solvency more carefully

Although certain improvements have been noticed in the industry, Latvia’s Economy Ministry invites amendments to make non-banking lenders perform more careful evaluation of clients’ solvency and allow creditors exchange information with one another.

Saeima argues over request to assess attempts to cancel «morality amendments»

During a meeting of Saeima’s Inquiry Committee, certain members and NGO representatives exchanged harsh words on Saeima opposition deputies’ request to Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis on association Papardes zieds’ protection of interests for the cancellation of so-called morality amendments.

EU residents believe European authorities should be more involved in certain areas

According to results of European Parliament’s Eurobarometer study, published eight weeks prior to elections in EU, residents believe European authorities should be more involved in certain matters. Priorities include terrorism threats, unemployment and environmental protection.

Estonian internet user growth strongest among elderly

The share of internet users in Estonia has continued to grow in 2018 and has over the past three months increased the most among 65–74-year-olds, official statistics show.

Regulator invited to assess calculation of electricity transmission tariff

Conclusions made by State Audit in relation to tariffs employed by Sadales tīkls show that recommendations received from OECD a couple of years ago in relation to public service tariff calculation should be carefully considered and adopted to ensure balance the interests of consumers and service providers.

Latvian police points towards stagnation in road traffic safety

So far this year 91 people have died in road traffic accidents in Latvia. According to State Police Road Traffic Safety Office Chief Normunds Krapsis, stagnation is present for road traffic safety.

Latvian government to attract EUR 29.5 million to restore Latgale’s degraded territories

On Tuesday, 18 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the action plan for Latgale region’s economic growth 2018-2021, which provides for attracting of EUR 29.5 million to help restore the region’s degraded territories.

China announces retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, seeks free trade support

Beijing has stated it would impose a duty tariff increase on American imports worth 60 billion U.S. dollars in a reaction to Washington's announcement to add tariffs on imports from China worth 200 billion U.S. dollars.

Montenegro to join NATO battalion stationed in Latvia

According to NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe James Everard, Montenegro plans to join the multi-national battalion currently stationed in Latvia.

U.S. looking seriously at Poland's request for American base on its soil

U.S President Donald Trump has noted the country was looking seriously at a request from Poland for a permanent U.S. military base in the fellow NATO member state and agreed that Polish concerns about possible Russian aggression were shared.

Russian plane near Syria shot down by ally targeting Israeli planes

The Russian military plane, which went missing on Monday, has been shot down by its ally Syria targeting Israel's war planes and the number of servicemen lost in the event has been corrected from 14 to 15, the Russian government stated.

Latvian border guards find more than 140 kg of hashish in a car

On 16 September, Latvian State Border Guard detained a 1991-born man and his car at Grebnev border checkpoint. A secret compartment containing 145.3 kg of narcotic substances was found in his car during a routine inspection, as reported by State Border Guard.

EU suspects German car-makers of colluding against cleaner technology

EU competition watchdogs are probing if German automotive giants have colluded to restrict the development of clean emission technology.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 7.8 thousand in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 there were 24.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 7.8 thousand vacancies or 46.6 % more than in Q2 2017. In public sector there were 7.2 thousand and in private sector 17.3 thousand job vacancies.

Latvian government desperate to resolve the growing piles of used tires problem

Latvian government has supported Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s prepared report ‘On maintenance of used tires’. This report includes proposals for measures to help resolve the matter regarding speeding up recycling and regeneration rates, as well as the no less important matter of maintenance of used tires.

Cargo volumes handled by Latvian ports remain stable in first half-year of 2018

Latvian ports transshipped 43.468 million tonnes of cargoes in the first eight months of 2018, which is 0.9% more than in the same period of last year. According to data from Transport Ministry, cargo turnover’s negative balance continues declining at Ventspils port, where 13.274 million tonnes of cargoes were transshipped in the first eight months, which is a drop of 11.9%.

airBaltic carried 18% more passengers in summer

Latvian airline airBaltic has carried 2,770,047 more passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East in the first eight months of 2018, BNN was told by the company.

Ukrainian workers in Lithuania gradually fill gap left by Lithuanian exodus

Companies in Lithuania, in particular operating in construction, logistics and retail chains, are increasingly inviting workers from Ukraine and Belarus to fill the worker shortage of Lithuanians moving to richer countries.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 47.14 million recovered in August

Assets worth EUR 47.13 million were recovered from the liquidated ABLV Bank in August, which is 2.2 times more than a month prior, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Estonia bank watchdog points to Denmark's responsibility over Danske

As to the allegations of doubtful billions flowing via the Estonia branch of Danske Bank, the Estonian watchdog of financial institutions has noted that the Danish supervisory authority was responsible for the lender's risk control.

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

On Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

Sixteen contenders apply for Rundale Castle Museum director’s post

A total of sixteen contenders have applied for participation in Latvian Culture Ministry’s announced open personnel selection process to find the next director of Rundale Castle Museum.

Russia: Military plane with 14 Russian soldiers has been lost near Syria

A Russian war plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared while over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Syria, Russia's Defence Ministry has stated.

Unity decides not to support UGF’s initiative for people’s elected president

Unity political party has no plans to support the amendments submitted by the Union of Greens and Farmers on people’s elected president, says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.