TASR, Teraz.sk, 13.12.2013 EN

The present situation in Ukraine threatens realization of broad gauge railway project


Bratislava 13 December (TASR) – The present situation in Ukraine may negatively affect the realization of the project of extension of the broad gauge railway for several reasons. According to TASR’s information obtained from credible sources, the Ukrainian state railways that are shareholder in Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft GmbH, the company that is going to execute the project,  are in default with paying in of the agreed contribution into the company, that is 5 million euros. In case of violation of this obligation, the other members – shareholders – could back off from the present public procurement proceeding for feasibility study of the broad gauge railway. Attorney Jana Martinková, howvever, considers such scenario rather improbable. “I don’t expect this to happen. And even in case such situation should impend, I believe the competent persons would be able to agree upon new timeline for paying in of the contributions,” she said for TASR.
Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft has currently started to asses technical offers for execution of a feasibility study submitted by four international consortia. Envelopes with price offers from them will be opened in January. Winner of the tender shall be known in June 2014, however only in case the Ukrainian state railways will fulfill their obligation. Should they not, the entire project of extension of the broad gauge railway will be in jeopardy. “Eventual dismissal of the tender would however not mean a definitive end of the project, although it would certainly result in its delay,” Martinková noted.
There has also been information in the professional public that the Russian part could try to solve the problems in Ukraine the same way as by the supply of natural gas, by rerouting. In case of the braod gauge railway this could happen with connection to Poland that has a big internal market and profits from the proximity of German economy.
Martinková doubts such alternative. “Poland could present a serious competitor in case Slovakia and Austria would become too involved in the Ukraine’s internal affairs or would lose too much time with execution of international treaties. However, extension of the broad gauge railway into the center of Europe through Slovakia is the best option from the economical and logical point of view,” Martinková added.