Mon. Apr 22nd, 2019

Liberalization of the AVE. Renfe will face at least two competitors when the AVE is liberalized

Liberalization of the AVE. Renfe will face at least two competitors when the AVE is liberalized


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Companies interested in the process of liberalization of passenger transport by rail they continue working on their projects. And some of them are already very advanced. The president of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), José María Marín Quemada, has assured today in Bilbao that there "A couple of very advanced projects with a financial pulse, which look like successful projects" to compete with Renfe at high speed when the service is liberalized in December 2020, according to Ep.

In recent weeks, the news about the railway liberalization process has multiplied. On paper, there are already three companies willing to compete with Renfe: Acciona, Ilsa (Air Nostrum) and the French SNCF. The first two have already formed an alliance to compete with the public operator in all those brokers that they consider interesting. The public company gala also unveiled officially a couple of weeks ago its interest in operating in the Spanish high-speed market. To do so, he admitted that he would prefer to do so in the hands of a local partner, for which he is negotiating with the Acciona-Ilsa alliance as well as with "other operators," he explained.

Marín Quemada has advocated because the current government does not try to favor Renfe to the detriment of these projects. Graphically, he has asked the public operator to "not hinder" the liberalization process and not "start with political or business pressures." The president of the CNMC has advocated "looking" at the experience of other countries that have already opened their railroad to competition, as is the case in Italy, where the process has developed "successfully" and has "benefited" the citizens.

That does not hinder does not imply either that Renfe has to "give" anything to its competitors. In this sense, Marín Quemada has assured that is not in favor of having to rent its surplus high-speed rolling stock to its rivals. "Nor can it be stated that whoever has trains lends them to operate," he assured. In his opinion, the eventual new operators "if they want to risk, they will have to take risks and make their own decisions" and not have the support that "if they do not do well, return the train". Acciona and Ilsa have tried to anticipate the liberalization of the sector by launching a private high-speed service between Madrid and Montpellier, an option that is allowed before December 2020 as it is an international line. Their problem has been that they do not have rolling stock with which to operate it and Renfe refuses to rent them some trains that, according to allegations, they do not have. The case, precisely, is being investigated by the CNMC. In the case of the liberalization of the national service of AVE, if Acciona-Ilsa were to ally with SNCF, it would not have this problem. The French operator has explained that it operates with its own owned train park.

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