State plan to procure island passenger ferries on hold
Ferry company TS Laevad, which serves Estonia's major islands, linking them to the mainland, is waiting for an answer to the question of whether the state is planning to purchase more passenger ferries. At the same time, the chairman of the company's board, Indrek Randveer, says he believes they are participating in a new procurement process.
Randveer told ERR that while in August the fact that the state was planning to buy new ships was openly discussed, actual steps haven't been taken.
Public relations advisor to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Taavi Audo says that a government decision is necessary for that to happen, but one currently doesn't exist.
Audo added that the plan is currently on hold, but didn't exclude the idea entirely.
Randveer said that they are waiting for the procurement documents with great interest and are keen to find out whether the state is planning to move forward with its plan, and what procurement terms will be.
The ministry, in cooperation with the Transport Agency (Transpordiamet), is starting with the procurement to find the carrier between mainland and islands for 2026-2036.
The ministry didn't want to comment on the matter, which will the procurement terms be or when will it be announced, but Randveer said that the procurement will be carried out at the beginning of the new year and if the terms work, TS Laevad will also participate.
He found it important that the needs of the islands' residents are considered in creating the procurement terms. This also creates a question of how many ferries are needed.
"The truth is that the number of passengers is increasing," Randveer said, adding that this will present new requirements for the port area.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino