Romania’s Tender for Hydrogen-Powered Trains Fails Due to Lack of Bids

By May 30, 2024 2   min read  (331 words)

May 30, 2024 |

Alstom fuel cell train 2
  • Romania’s Railway Reform Authority (RRA) has faced another setback with the cancellation of its tender for twelve hydrogen fuel cell-based electric trains, valued at approximately 868.9 million lei.
  • The tender, part of Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, was canceled due to lack of compliant bids and concerns over stringent technical and deadline requirements.

Romania’s attempt to modernize its rail transport through the acquisition of hydrogen fuel cell-based electric trains has hit another roadblock, with the Railway Reform Authority (RRA) announcing the cancellation of the tender due to a lack of submissions. This marks the second failure of the tender, initially valued at 868.9 million lei ($188.8 million/174.6 million euro), aimed at introducing twelve hydrogen-powered trains into the national fleet.

The tender, which is supported by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), was automatically canceled in the public procurement system, SEAP, after receiving no bids. Previously, in February 2023 and November 2023, the tender processes were also unsuccessful. The first cancellation occurred due to no offers being submitted, and the second was due to the non-compliance of the sole bid received from a consortium that included Alstom and Linde Gas’s Romanian subsidiary.

The failure to attract viable bids is attributed to the tight deadlines set by the NRRP’s implementation schedule and the stringent technical requirements that manufacturers argue are unachievable. Stefan Roseanu, president of the RRA, expressed to ProTV the challenges faced by manufacturers in meeting the tender’s deadlines, while Ionut Ciurea, VP and executive director at Pro Infrastructure Association, pointed out the unrealistic technical documentation demanded by the tender.

In response to these recurrent challenges, the RRA plans to conduct new market consultations to refine their strategy and possibly adjust the tender requirements to attract compliant and competitive bids. The goal remains to enhance Romania’s rail infrastructure with environmentally friendly technology, but achieving this requires balancing ambitious environmental goals with practical industry standards.

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