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EVR Cargo mulling purchase of 200 railcars for over €7 million

EVR Cargo is Estonia's state-owned cargo rail operator.
EVR Cargo is Estonia's state-owned cargo rail operator. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

State-owned Estonian rail cargo operator EVR Cargo wishes to buy 200 brand new open railcars as quickly as possible at a cost of more than €7 million.

A tender held by EVR Cargo for the purchase of 200 railcars was won by the Bryansk railcar factory in Russia. The plant later announced that they cannot deliver the cars at the offered price and that new price they want is €37,000 per unit, or altogether €7.4 million, Raul Toomsalu, chairman of the board of EVR Cargo, told the supervisory board.

The company remains interested in buying 200 railcars and delaying the transaction would mean a higher price, as both the exchange rate of the ruble and the price of metal are rising, according to Toomsalu. He said that in addition to the Bryansk plant, they are planning on filing price inquiries with the Tihvin, Uralvagonozavod, Roslavsky and Altai railcar plants.

The company doesn't want to stage a new public procurement tender as that would entail the risk of having to deal with mediators who are not actually able to deliver railcars and would jeopardize the whole acquisition.

Toomsalu described it as beyond doubt that the railcars are necessary. Thus they are planning to wait for responses from the major manufacturers, after which the supervisory board should endorse the investment decision.

EVR Cargo to set up Russian subsidiary

Toomsalu also said at a meeting of the company's supervisory board that it will be necessary for EVR Cargo to establish a subsidiary in Russia if it wishes to rent out railcars in Russia, in order to avoid double taxation.

If the cars are rented out directly by a company registered in Estonia, a tax of 10-20 percent would be levied depending whether or not the cars operate outside of Russia as well.

Using the cars for operation within Russia alone would mean a tax rate of 20 percent. An additional matter is the topic of customs, as railcars registered in Estonia can be used in Russian territory only if a temporary import duty of €5 per railcar per day is paid on them, which would make it pointless to rent the cars to Russia at the intended price of €13 per day.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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