posted on 21st May 2023 21:58
In April 2022, MÁV-START and Siemens Mobility signed a framework agreement for 115 Vectron locomotives, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2024. However, the implementation of this contract now appears to be in jeopardy. In mid-May 2023, János Lázár, the Minister of Construction and Transport, announced that the Hungarian government would "end its friendship with Siemens", which puts the delivery of the locomotives in doubt.
The background to this announcement, however, lies in the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant, for which the control system is supplied by a German-French consortium made up of Siemens Energy and Framatome. While the French Government has already granted its company the necessary national export licence, the German Government is still waiting, which the Hungarian Government describes as "an attack on the sovereignty of the country, because the security of energy supply is a matter of sovereignty".
However, even if the German government eventually approves a national export licence for Siemens Energy, it is quite likely that the Vectrons will not be procured for MÁV-START anyway, as the dispute over the Paks power plant in this case only serves as a cover for the fact that the government is unable to secure sufficient funding for the new locomotives. The Vectrons would thus suffer the same fate as the intended acquisition of non-traction units based on railjets, for which the MÁV-START tender was cancelled in December 2022, again due to lack of funding.