Newspaper: Timely completion of new ferries was in doubt all along

The new passenger ferry "Tiiu" under construction in a Turkish shipyard. (Port of Tallinn)
7/14/2016 2:44 PM
Category: Business

It was evident by May that two ferries being built in a Polish shipyard would be comlpeted at least three months behind schedule, and last week it became clear that the other two ferries, being built in a Turkish shipyard, would likewise be late as well. As it turned out, however, it was doubtful from the start that the four new ferries would be delivered on time.

Based on the minutes of the Port of Tallinn Supervisory Board meetings from late 2013 and 2014 to which they had access, Estonian daily Postimees (link in Estonian) wrote that right from the start, no involved parties believed that the ferries being constructed at shipyards in Poland and Turkey for use on lines between Estonia's western islands and its mainland would be completed on schedule and there was thus nothing surprising whatsoever about the crisis currently at hand.

The paper found that the decision was made to stubbornly carry on regardless, and no real attempt was made to try to reach a compromise with the current transport operator Saaremaa Shipping Company.

Then-board chairman Ain Kaljurand confirmed during a March 2014 meeting that Saaremaa Shipping Company had more superior capabilities than the Port of Tallinn, and that the current quality of service offered by the former may well not be preserved upon switching operators.

According to Postimees, excerpts from the Port of Tallinn Supervisory Board meetings, which included discussion regarding the purchase of the four new ferries, also helped bring clarity to the confusing process ending in an extensive bribery scandal.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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