Riia Sillave named new head of Rail Baltic Estonia ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Riia Sillave, Rail Baltic Estonia's new chief.
Riia Sillave, Rail Baltic Estonia's new chief. Source: (Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ)

Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ, the Estonian holding company established for the construction of the international Rail Baltic railway, will be headed as of Friday, Dec. 15 by Riia Sillave.

Sillave was one of the drivers of the launch of the Austrian-owned Estonian Cell pulp mill in 2004, where she served as a member of its management board until the end of 2010. In 2012, she began work as CFO of Estonian Cell parent company and Austrian-based paper and cellulose group Heinzel Group, where she worked through September of this year, Rail Baltic Estonia said in a press release.

"I am glad to be back in my home country and start leading such an important process as the creation of a railway connection with Europe," Sillave said. "The construction of Rail Baltic has been decided and ratified by the three Baltic states and my task is to realize this project."

According to Sillave, in addition to the positive environmental aspect, the transfer of cargo flows from highways to the railway will open up new opportunities for Estonian and European industry alike.

"Passengers will also discover the simplicity and comfort of rail travel on longer stretches as well, as is common in Central Europe," she added. "The tram connection with Tallinn Airport, which was built in the framework of and with funding from Rail Baltic, is the first tangible, excellent result which is already making travel more convenient for everyone."

"I’d like to thank Indrek Orav, who has headed Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ since 2014 and under whose leadership we have reached the final stretch of the project's first stage, the planning stage, and can move forward to the next, the designing and construction phase of Rail Baltic," said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center). "It is positive that Riia Sillave will bring with her both an international background as well as the experience of building up a project, and I wish her every success."

The Rail Baltic project's international agreement, which stipulates the railway project's general technical parameters, route and construction deadline, was ratified in the Riigikogu in June. This year, a cost-benefit analysis was also conducted, which highlighted that the project's socio-economic revenues would total €16 billion. An environmental impact analysis was also carried out this year.

Currently underway are the determining of the location and technical analysis of a car-loading station. The analysis of the technological and spatial needs of the cargo terminal in Muuga, meanwhile, has reached its final stage. Design procurements for the planned passenger terminals in Ülemiste and Pärnu will be announced in 2018, when Estonia is also set to take over the presidency of the supervisory board of the Latvia-based joint venture AS RB Rail.

Rail Baltic Estonia is a business within the administrative domain of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications which was founded to represent the interests of the Estonian state in RB Rail as well as to realize the railway project and fulfill administrative and technical tasks in Estonia. The company employs seven people.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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