Veolia appeals Stockholm metro contract

A Swedish court has suspended a decision awarding the running of the Stockholm metro to Hong Kong company MTR after French rival Veolia appealed the decision, Veolia said on Friday.

“The Stockholm county administrative court has decided to approve Veolia Transport’s appeal of Stockholm Public Transport’s (SL) decision. This means

that the tender offer is suspended,” Veolia Transport Sweden said in a statement.

Veolia Transport, the current operator of Stockholm’s subway, lost the $2.45 billion eight-year contract to MTR on January 20th.

The contract, which is due to start on November 2, includes a possible extension for an additional six years.

“There is always someone who tries to stop or delay the process but until now no one has succeeded in doing it, SL has always won in court,” SL spokesman Björn Holmberg told AFP.

“This is a small delay for us but we thought this could happen and we had planned for it, so we can handle the date of November 2,” he said.

Veolia Transport said meanwhile it was contesting SL’s choice of MTR since its bid was the most expensive.

“It chose the most expensive of the bidders which will cost taxpayers in Stockholm 2.5 billion kronor and we think that this difference is not justified by the difference in quality with the other offers, including ours,” Veolia chief executive Tomas Wallin told AFP.

In announcing its decision on January 20th, SL said MTR “submitted the best bid from a quality standpoint and that was decisive in this procurement.”