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SIA “Citrus Solutions” will build nine sections of the Eastern border


From six tenders received for the project of construction of high readiness stages of the external border infrastructure, the offer of SIA “Citrus Solutions” was recognized as the most economically advantageous offer. The selected contractor will perform the works intended in the project in all nine high readiness stages. The signing of the agreement with the contractor will take place after the allocation of financing, it is planned that it will happen in the beginning of March, reveals Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SJSC State Real Estate (SRE).

In December 2021, SRE approached 15 construction companies with an invitation to submit a confirmation of potential participation in the Eastern border construction project. When evaluating the participation of potential construction companies in the project, the level of their reputation and the amount of construction work performed in 2020 was assessed. Confirmation of potential participation in the project was submitted by 11 of the 15 construction companies approached. They had the opportunity to get familiar with the technical specifications and participate in the negotiations on the implementation of the project, as well as to clarify any unclear issues. After the negotiations, nine construction companies continued to participate in the price survey, six of which submitted their offers, including four submitted construction offers for all nine stages. The most economically advantageous offer for the construction of all nine high readiness stages has been submitted by the construction company - SIA “Citrus Solutions”, for the total amount of 31.4 million euros (excluding VAT). The total length of the sections is less than 84 kilometres from the estimated 137 kilometres.

According to the offer submitted by the construction company SIA “Citrus Solutions”, the cost will be approximately 375 thousand euros (excluding VAT) per kilometre. In order to ensure a high-quality and sustainable border construction solution, it was necessary to significantly adjust the range of works and make changes regarding the incomplete construction project designed in 2018. In the envisaged solutions, the technical parameters of the boundary fence are significantly higher than the ones planned in the 2018 project, the previously planned patrol duct cover from wood chips has been replaced with a mineral alloy cover, originally designed wooden pontoon footbridges with PVC bathing tanks across water reservoirs have been replaced with more durable reinforced concrete pontoons with expanded polystyrene filling, a solution (tunnel) for railway crossing and other solutions important for safety have been developed. Costs are also affected by the significant rise in construction material prices in 2021.

"The Eastern border project is an inter-institutional cooperation project aimed at improving national security infrastructure and reducing potential threats from neighbouring countries. The implementation of this project is complicated not only by its technical specifications and the lack of human resources caused by the pandemic, the required amount of a large quantity and one type of construction materials, but also the conditions under which the border is being built. There is still an emergency situation at the border that could escalate at any time, and all parties involved in the project must be able to react quickly. Therefore, in a short time we have established a professional team, which will monitor the progress of construction works on a daily basis and will ensure supervision not only of the construction works, but also make sure that the project is implemented according to schedule,” R. Griškevičs points out.

The development of the detailed topographic plans for the entire 173 km wide border strip will be completed in March, which will allow the infrastructure design to start simultaneously with the documentation development phase and will speed up the coordination and decision-making process. Also in March, SIA “Citrus Solutions” will start design works in nine high readiness stages, the National Collateral Agency (NCA) and the State Border Guard will assign the task of the next stages of border construction, while SRE will select the applicants for the next stages.

​The National Collateral Agency in cooperation with JSC Latvian State Forests (LSF), is already organizing the deforestation of the priority and following sectors. Currently, the deforestation of priority sections, pruning of trees cut by arborists, sawing of bushes and undergrowth, and also cutting of individual trees are underway. In accordance with the task of the NCA, during the implementation of the project SIA “Citrus Solutions” may be contracted additional deforestation - in places where LSF will not be able to perform deforestation due to difficult accessibility. In river bends, on the edges of cliffs and in other places, where due to the peculiarities of the environment it is necessary to expand the construction zone of the border infrastructure, a decision may be made during the construction to expand the territory of the deforestation.

The construction of the border fence in the first eight stages will be completed by the end of November, while the construction of the ninth stage will be completed by the end of 2022. The remaining infrastructure in the first eight stages will be built until the spring of 2023 and in the last stage - until the middle of summer to protect the reproduction of specially protected species (Forest dormouse) along the Natura 2000 site - NP “Silene”.

The Eastern border project is an inter-institutional co-operation project. In accordance with the Law on the Construction of the External Land Border Infrastructure adopted by the Saeima on 12 November 2021, the SRE manages, implements and supervises all works necessary for the construction of the border infrastructure, implements the procurements necessary for construction and concludes procurement contracts. The implementation of the project is supervised by the Monitoring Committee for the Construction of External Border Infrastructure, which consists of representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, State Border Guard, National Collateral Agency, SJSC “Latvian State Radio and Television Centre”, SJSC “State Real Estate”, JSC“ Latvian State Forests”, Latvian Geospatial Information Agency and the National Armed Forces. The project envisages the construction of 173 kilometres of the state border strip, including 134 kilometres of permanent fence. The project will be financed from the state budget and its total funding is estimated at 39.5 million euros.

Maintenance of objects important for the security of Latvia and the European Union and development of borders is one of the directions of SRE activity. In total, 18.5 million euros is currently being invested in the modernisation of the Latvia-Russia and Latvia-Belarus borders taking place under the management of SRE. As a result of these projects, by the end of 2023, comfortable and modern working conditions will be available to the staff of border control points, and the infrastructure necessary for border control and customs control will be improved, making border crossing more efficient and faster.