ZAGREB, Nov 17 (Hina) – HŽ Passenger Transport and Končar – Electric Vehicles on Tuesday signed a contract for the sale of 21 commuter and regional electric trains worth HRK 844.7 million (€112.62 million), of which 85% comes from the EU’s Cohesion Fund.
The contract was signed by HZ Passenger Transport CEO Željko Ukić and Končar – Electric Vehicles CEO Josip Ninić.
The funds for the new trains are disbursed from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020. The project is part of a bigger project for the upgrade of the HŽ Passenger Transport’s rolling stock and envisages the purchase of 11 commuter and 10 regional trains.
Eighty-five percent of the contract value is financed by the EU and the remaining 15% by the state.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said the project was important because it would contribute to the development of modern railway transport in Croatia.
One of the government’s priorities is work on the best possible transport connectivity in the country, he said, noting that over the past few years the government had invested much in transport infrastructure, highways, roads, bridges, airports and ports and that now the railway was being invested in.
“In the next ten years we plan to invest around three billion euros in the upgrading of the railway infrastructure,” said the PM.
Mentioning in that context several projects, Plenković said that 165 kilometres of new railway lines would be built as part of those projects.
He said that in four years’ time half of HŽ Passenger Transport’s rolling stock would be new electric trains.
Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said the new trains were a Croatian product.
Končar – Electric Vehicles CEO Ninic said the company won the job to make the trains following an international call for tenders.
The first of the new electric trains for commuter transport will be delivered in 24 months, after which ten more such trains will be delivered, and be followed by the delivery of 10 regional trains. The deadline for the delivery of all trains is December 2023.
The new trains will have low floors and be able to develop a speed of up to 160 kilometres per hour.
The commuter trains will have 130 seats and standing room for 385 passengers, while the regional trains will have 209 seats and standing room for 222 passengers.
Passengers will have free Internet access and the trains will have platforms for people in wheelchairs, a space for bicycles as well as a video surveillance system.
Solutions for CA
Asked about possible solutions for Croatia Airlines (CA), which is looking for a strategic partner to help recapitalise it, Butković recalled that all activities in that regard had been suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.
Things have come to a halt, we must help the company until this is over and the procedure to find the strategic partner starts, he said in a comment on the government’s decision of last week to give HRK 88.5 million in aid to the national flag carrier to help it weather the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
(€1 = HRK 7.5)