In Germany's largest rail project, the competitive lending process was successfully completed as well. Supported by the law firm of Heuking Kühn Luer Wojtek, the transport authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia and the special purpose association Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord awarded contracts for loans to finance the vehicles of Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RRX). The European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW IPEX, and Helaba were awarded the contracts. They are providing long-term loans for a total investment volume of some EUR 800 million.
Numerous banks had competed for the financing of the RRX vehicles. The transport authorities had determined the most economic banking offers in a competition, achieving even higher savings than expected. The competitive lending scheme had been designed by Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's legal team, led by renowned competition law and public procurement law specialist Dr. Ute Jasper.
"The competition in financing has paid off. The consistent and transparent process has led to extremely favorable financing conditions. Competitive lending has thus made an important contribution to the overall financial success of the RRX project," explained Dr. Ute Jasper.
The competitive lending complements manufacturer and operator bidding in the RRX project. All procedures have been completed in the meantime. Siemens will manufacture the vehicles, which will be operated by Abellio and National Express. The team led by Dr. Ute Jasper includes Dr. Christopher Marx (Contracts), Dr. Laurence Westen (Public Procurement Law), Dr. Hannah Gesing (Contracts), Dr. Stefan Jöster (Insurance), and Dr. Thorsten Kuthe (Banking Law), who are working on the RRX project.
Dr. Ute Jasper is one of the best-known lawyers for public procurement and public infrastructure projects. She advises federal and state ministries, municipalities, and companies. Ute Jasper heads Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's "Public Sector & Public Procurement" department. For years, she has been ranked number 1 in JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms, currently in its 2014/2015 edition, and according to "Law Firms in Germany" is the "premier contact on the market" for infrastructure.
The award is based on the “NRW-RRX model” realized jointly by the participating transport associations Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), Zweckverband Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR), Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL), Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord (SPNV-Nord), and Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (NVV) under the leadership of VRR. In this procedure, bidding for the operation of the lines was separated from bidding for manufacturing, supply, and maintenance, in order to allow, among others, the subsequent realization of the RRX target system after completing the infrastructure. It had already been determined in March 2015 that Siemens will build the 82 high-quality RRX trains for the future RRX lines and will maintain and repair them for a period of 30 years.