The tender to supply carriages for the Tel Aviv light rail project is attracting international interest. Five companies have filed bids in the tender published by the NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System: French company Alstom, German-Spanish company Vossloh, Spanish company CAF, Swiss company Stadler, and Chinese company CNR.
The tender for the purchase of 90 carriages and an option for 30 additional carriages is considered one of the world's largest at present, with an estimated value of NIS 2 billion. The deadline for filing bids in the tender was postponed four times, following personnel changes in NTA's senior management.
NTA CEO Yehuda Bar-On decided against further postponement of the tender, despite criticism by two large railway manufacturers: Bombardier of Canada and Siemens of Germany.
The two companies' main complaint was that assigning a 70% weight to the price bid gives an advantage to the Chinese manufacturer, which offers its railway carriages at prices 50% lower than those of the Western manufacturers. Both CAF and Alstom are expected to submit aggressive price bids.
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