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Tuesday 23.04.2019 | Name days: Jurģis, Juris, Georgs

Rail Baltica’s management picks Ignas Degutis as Interim Chief Executive Officer

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe supervisory board of RB Rail has picked the company’s finance director and board member Ignas Degutis as Baiba Rubesa’s replacement as the interim CEO of the company, as confirmed by the decision made by Rail Baltica supervisory council.

This decision was made after the resignation letter from Baiba Rubesa was received.

Degutis joined RB Rail AS as Chief Financial Officer and was appointed as Member of the Management Board on April 24, 2017.

Degutis led the Economics division at Klaipedos Nafta AB and oversaw the financing scheme of the LNG terminal development project in Klaipeda that involved funding from credit facilities, gas sector regulatory environment and EU grants. His professional record also includes transaction and risk advisory services at Ernst & Young as well as other positions in telecommunications and insurance sectors.

In 2015 Degutis joined the largest state owned energy company in Lithuania, Lietuvos Energija UAB, in order to plan, develop and implement financing schemes of the combined heat and power plants in Vilnius and Kaunas. Since January 2016, Mr. Degutis has been serving as Chief Financial Officer for Vilniaus kogeneracinė jėgainė UAB, part of the Lietuvos energija group, with a focus on the implementation of the Waste-to-energy CHP and Biomass CHP project in Vilnius.

«There is a potential to accelerate the project implementation. RB Rail continues to work in full capacity and is focused on progressing with the detailed technical design for all sections of the railway as well as finalising the long-term business, operational and infrastructure management plans of Rail Baltica which will determine the future success of the project», says Ignas Degutis.

He adds that Rail Baltica continues working on long-term financing of the Rail Baltica Global Project and a sustainable funding for the joint venture’s budget in 2019-2020.

Degutis also adds that the company values the contribution Rubesa has provided for the project’s development. «During these years Ms Rubesa has built a highly motivated and knowledgeable team of professionals at RB Rail AS and has put in place an effective and transparent organisation and procurement structure,» he said.

The company mentions in its announcement that Rail Baltic Global has entered construction design stage in all three Baltic States. In 2017, Baltic parliaments ratified the inter-governmental agreement on the creation of Rail Baltica railway connection, affirming long-term commitment for the project.

The third CEF co-financing agreement signed this summer provides for allocating more than EUR 800 million for the project’s needs.

As previously reported, on Thursday, 27 September, Baiba A. Rubesa, CEO and Chair of the Management Board of the Baltic State’s joint venture RB RAIL AS, submitted a resignation letter to the Supervisory Board of the joint venture. The resignation letter is effective immediately.

At a press conference organized on the same day, Rubesa listed a number of reasons for her decision, including the lack of unity and transparency with the project.

As she continued listing the catalysts that caused her to submit her letter of resignation, Rubesa told journalists that the project lacks proper management model: «Everything that happens in the project is and will be delayed.»

She mentioned that even though progress has been made with coordination and approval of decisions over the course of the project, there are still questions that remain unanswered.

She also said that the next funding stage remains unclear – it is unknown how things will turn out after 2020 because the situation will likely suffer from Brexit next year. Rubesa says that the matter with Latvia’s budget is also unclear.

She stressed that countries participating in the project have failed to reach an agreement in regards to the project’s main goal – every country continues working to suit its own interests. This is an obstacle for decision-making processes, especially in regards to finances. In addition, the project lacks transparency.


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