As early as May, we heard the ferryboats being built to connect mainland and islands in Estonia starting October would be late for a minimum of three months. Last week served us the additional «surprise» of the other two boats from shipyard in Turkey will miss deadline as well.
In possession of Postimees are minutes of Port of Tallinn council sessions starting end of 2013 to end of 2014.
In them, it is clearly evident that those involved, from the very beginning no-one believed: the ships would be ready on time and there is no surprise at the situation as it now turned out to be.
And yet, they pressed on with the process and never attempted to find a compromise with the current carrier.
In March 2014, then CEO of Port of Tallinn Ain Kaljurand confirmed that Saaremaa Laevakompanii had superior capability as compared to Port of Tallinn and that as operator is changed the current quality of service may not be maintained.
To bring clarity to the nation, Postimees has posted excerpts from the minutes as pertaining to the ferryboats order.
Risk of delay with all four admitted
As an example of what was said, on September 30th 2014 council member of Port Kalev Lillo wanted to know regarding the risk of some or all of the ferries being late.
«If three ferries get completed by deadline and fourth by spring 2017, mainland and islands connection will be ensured,» suggested board member Allan Kiil.
«With that, Port of Tallinn would indeed breach procurement contract conditions with a risk of a fine. Meanwhile, due to the critical timing, the risk of all four ferries being late may not be ruled out.»
Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are the two major islands off Estonia's Western coast, the ferry lines providing a vital link and lifeline regarding commuting as well as carriage of goods.
In summertime, the islands present a favourite tourism destination and are host of various festivals.