Together with Bombardier, the company was able to win the sale of 146 trains for the capital’s commuter network for 2,560 million euros. Alstom, defeated in the contest, managed to delay the signing until its purchase of the Canadian company materialized and now it renounces the contract
Alstom has torpedoed the mega-contract that Bombardier and CAF achieved to supply 146 trains worth 2,560 million euros to the Parisian suburban network (RER). A contest in which his offer, 600 million more expensive, was defeated. The French giant has used all kinds of resources to delay the signing of the contract until the January 29 materialized its acquisition of the Canadian company.
In battle, the president of Alstom, Henri Poupart Lafarge, has not hesitated to question the safety of the material that the Gipuzkoan company had to supply. Yesterday he declared to Le Monde: “We have only been in consortium with CAF on a metro contract [en Porto Alegre, Brasil, en 2012]. And, objectively, it was a catastrophe. CAF was responsible for the bogies as it is in the RER B contract. That went very wrong and the fleet was idle for two years. Is that what you want? Has the RER B fleet stopped for two years? ”
The Regional Express Network (RER), created in the 70s, has five lines that run over 600 km of roads and transport 3 million passengers per day among its 246 stations. The two essential lines are the Ã ?? that crosses Paris from east to west and the B that does it from north to south joining the two airports. They are the busiest in Europe as they carry 1.3 million passengers every day. They are operated jointly by the Paris metro (RATP) and the French Renfe (SNCF).
The trains in the contract in question are financed by a company in the Ile-de-France region (IDFM). The region and society are both presided over by ValÃ © rie PÃ © cresse (dissident on the right) who is at stake for reelection in the elections that are to take place this year.
After delaying the signing of the contract awarded on a resource basis and once the owner of Bombardier, Alstom withdrew its offer on Thursday afternoon. RATP and SNCF, which are among the largest clients of the French company, they condemned his decision and they announced legal actions. They consider the withdrawal of the offer illegitimate, confirmed on January 4, when the acquisition of Bombardier had not yet been completed: “With the purchase of Bombardier, Alstom resumed the contracts and commitments of the Canadian company.”
The regional president denounces “the absolutely scandalous strategy” of Alstom and recalled that the regional transport consortium has contracted with the French multinational and Bombardier for a value of 19,000 million.
The president of Alstom says he is aware of the “risk in terms of image” and it assumes that buyers can resort to justice.” If we are attacked we will explain in detail why the offer we withdraw is not viable or enforceable “, Poupart Lafarge told ‘Le Figaro’.
What does he allege to torpedo the contract? “This offer is too beautiful to be true. It shows the aggressive cost that is not reasonable.” In a word, that Bombardier and CAF threw the prices. He also speaks of “irregularities that should have disqualified the offer. Among them, the trained model does not meet the standards.”
RATP and SNCF recall that the contract has been rigorously reviewed by their teams and an external company has audited its financial viability.
The giant’s irritation may have other reasons. “Alstom has not digested that in 2019 CAF won a contract to supply 28 intercity trains worth 700 million”, declared an expert in the sector yesterday to ‘Le Figaro’.
CAF will go-ahead
According to Efe, RATP and SNCF are considering appealing Alstom’s decision. For its part, CAF is analyzing the repercussions of this decision and ensures that its intention is to go ahead with the contract awarded while the French authorities try to resolve the conflict.