After a procurement for domestic ferry services for the next 10 years from 2016 attracted only one bid, which was disqualified, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has began direct negotiations with the current operator Väinamere Liinid, which said it will have the required four ferries by 2016, and the state-owned Port of Tallinn.
Only Väinamere Liinid submitted a bid for the tender, but was disqualified, with the ministry refusing to reveal the reasons. According to law, direct negotiations can now begin.
Minister Urve Palo said the requirement that the state will have the right to purchase the four ferries after the new contract ends in 2026 will stand and the price will be agreed before any signatures given to the initial service deal.
The Port of Tallinn, which flirted with the idea of participating in the original tender, said it is in talks with a number of ship construction companies. The company's CEO, Ain Kaljurand, said it will have to order ferries from at least two manufacturers as one will not be able to build that many ships that quickly.