After repeated postponements of the date for filing bids to operate the Tel Aviv light rail's Red Line, three bids are expected to be submitted tomorrow, all of them led by Chinese operating companies. Last week the one potential non-Chinese bidder, German railway company Deutsche Bahn decided to drop out due to questions that remain open about the terms of the tender. Deutsche Bahn had been expected to team up with Kavim and Connect Jerusalem LRT.
The three bids expected are from: Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd. and Shenzhen Metro Group (CCECC); Derekh Eretz and Guangzhou Metro; and Dan with Beijing Metro, after French railway company SNCF dropped out of the consortium. Dan declined to comment.
The operating tender was frozen in December after NTA metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. was contacted by international companies asking that they not be required to hold 51% of any consortium. They felt that their Israeli partners, who knew the market well, should hold the controlling share. In response, NTA lowered the minimum requirement for international operators to 30%.
Due to the change, the tender bid deadline was postponed until March 23. The deadline was delayed twice more until April 9 and then tomorrow as Deutsche Bahn requested the extensions to prepare a bid before finally deciding to pull out.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 18, 2017
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