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How the Greek railway maintenance tender will be structured

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With an amount that will exceed 1.2 billion euros, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and OSE plan to solve the complex problem of maintenance and reorganization of the country’s railway network. The estimate of the net object can be slightly differentiated by identifying the needs.

To do this, the railway map of the country has been “broken down” into three and respective tenders will run to meet the needs: the first and main section concerns the main corridor Piraeus-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzoni and Promachonas, the second the section Kiato – El. Venizelos Airport and the third the network of northern Greece.

The tenders will be conducted through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) method and the financing will be partially covered by the Recovery Fund (EUR 130 million), the resources of which have already been approved by the European Commission, from loans and private funding.

The largest PPP of all time

The contracting authority will be OSE. This is a very ambitious project as the amount of PPPs will be the largest of all time in Greece and is considered a very special and complex project. We are currently in the process of preparing the business plan which is being developed.

This includes consultants for the gradual maturation of tenders, who have already been hired. In the final phase of the competition there will be 3 consultants who will prepare the tender documents. The recruitment of an independent engineer during the implementation phase of the project is also being considered.

The tenders that will be announced in 2022 will concern the upgrade of the existing railway infrastructure and superstructure, electromechanical systems, signaling, telecommunications and electricity and other facilities required for the operation of the network and will include its maintenance. The big bet will be the timely completion of the competitions as it has been recorded that they should be completed in 2023.

Problems with the current network

The current railway network of the country operates with many problems, both in terms of infrastructure and maintenance as there are frequent problems with electricity, with passing animals, with falling trees causing delays and reduced speeds.

In some cases, such as the Thessaloniki-Alexandroupolis line, tours are so frequent that for years the route has been covered like it was in the era of the 19th century.

The contractors will meet the needs of upgrading and maintenance of the network, which should reach the corresponding European average, in order for the trains to move at the desired speed and safety.

The work of maintaining the railway network has been on the agenda for several years, but until today it had not been possible to launch it.

The duration of the tenders will be over 10 years as significant investments will have to be made by the contractors. According to railway sources, these projects are expected to attract the interest of both technical companies and companies that specialize in such projects, including operators.

The OSE-ERGOSE reform is also underway

At the same time, another action through the Recovery Fund concerns the organizational reform in the railway sector, the main actions of the project are:

1. adoption of a roadmap with the steps for the complete reorganization of the companies OSE and ERGOSE,

2) hiring a qualified consultant to assist in the implementation of the reform;

3) entry into force of primary and secondary law for the reform of the two companies, which will enable them to develop, operate and maintain a modern railway network;

4) implementation of the reform.

The plan for the reorganization of the two railway schemes should be presented to the Commission within the third quarter. Towards the end of 2022 we will have the “entry into force of primary and secondary law for the reform of the two companies, which will enable them to develop, operate and maintain a modern railway network”.

The completion of the new reality in the railway events should have taken place by 31 December 2023.

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