Kaspars Rokens, COO and member of the management board at RB Rail AS, the joint Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian venture established for implementing the Rail Baltica railway project, said that Rail Baltica cannot be built without using a foreign workforce, daily Postimees reports.
"I am fully convinced that we will not be able to realize this project without using a foreign workforce," Rokens told the paper. "This especially as there will be other infrastructure projects built at the same time as the railway infrastructure."
According to the COO, there is currently no certain knowledge regarding how it willbe organised. "This will be a great challenge for the government — to organise both immigration procedures as well as the accommodation of workers," he added.
At the same time, Rokens said that it is likely that local companies wil fulfil tenders related to Rail Baltica to a great extent.
"In large-scale European projects which are won by international companies, the local component can even go beyond 60%," he said. "There are equal opportunities for entrepreneurs of Europe and the Baltic states, and a large part of the money will remain in the Baltic countries."
When it comes to procurements, Rokens explained that not only price but also other aspects would factor in when determining the winner. "European procurement law states that the price makes up 30-40% of the assessment given to the offer," he said. "Therefore, the impact of reuse can turn out to be a very important indicator alongside the price when making a final decision. But we are of course ruling out the possibility that one bidder is given an advantage in front of another.
"We are not ruling out procurements with one bidder, but we are ruling out that procurements could be formed after one single bidder," he noted. "We wish to see at least three bidders, then we can be sure that at least one of them will qualify. Otherwise, market participants may say that this is not equal treatment."
Editor: Aili Vahtla