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Contenders Say Moscow's $3 Billion Metro Tender Was Designed for Current Supplier

A group of major train producers have complained that a massive international tender for the Moscow metro is designed so that only one bidder, the metro's long-standing supplier Metrovagonmash, is able to win it, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Canada's Bombardier, Russia's Uralvagonzavod and a joint venture of Russia's Sinara and Spain's CAF wrote a letter to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service complaining of the requirements for the ongoing tender to supply 768 new metro cars and service them for a 30-year period under a contract worth 133 billion rubles ($2.9 billion), the newspaper reported, citing a copy of the letter.

The companies said the tender documents were designed in such a way as to limit the participation of bidders other than Metrovagonmash, the Moscow metro's trusted train supplier for decades, the report said.

In February, Metrovagonmash, a subsidiary of Russian locomotive and rail equipment producer Transmashholding, won a similar tender worth 143 billion rubles ($3 billion) to supply and service 832 metro cars. Although that tender too was open to international bidders, no foreign manufacturers took part.

Earlier this month, German engineering conglomerate Siemens said it was planning to participate in the latest tender to supply trains for the Moscow metro, but called the requirements "harsher" than similar tenders that the company participates in around the world and expressed doubts that it could win.

The results of the tender are to be announced next week, just over a month after it was opened to bidders.

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