Latvijas Autocelu Uzuretjs (Latvian Road Works or LAU) has the crucial responsibility of maintaining Latvia’s state roads. In 2007, LAU won a €395 million tender to handle road maintenance on the country’s state highways for seven years, and today it is the biggest company in its sector, with a turnover of €75.4 million (LVL 53 million) in 2012.
Vladimirs Kononovs, Chairman of the Board, explains, “Latvia has more than 72,000 km of roads, of which 20,100 km belong to the state and the rest to municipalities. We work on state roads but we also have a very good cooperation with municipalities. We do not build roads but we apply new surfacing, which prolongs the life of roads as well as increases safety. Our services include the upgrading and repairs of state highways as well as of the engineering structures and communications systems and signs related to them.” LAU’s overall mission is to ensure better driving conditions on Latvia’s roads.
In-depth knowledge of local conditions
Specific services provided by LAU depend on the season, with a concentration on snow removal, salt spreading, pot-hole repairs and other services in winter and on surface repairs, repairs of road signs, ditch-cleaning, garbage collection and other services in summer. Vladimirs Kononovs points out, “We know the country’s challenges and climate. We know how to provide the best services and to maintain Latvia’s roads in the most efficient way. This is our biggest advantage compared to foreign companies.”
Vladimirs Kononovs would like LAU to evolve into a project-management enterprise which would oversee private companies providing road maintenance. This management structure would, he feels, enhance efficiency and help upgrade services.
To potential foreign investors and partners, he concludes, “Latvia is a stable and safe EU member with a small but high-potential economy. Latvia managed to survive the global crisis, and this reflects its basic strengths. LAU will continue to help improve Latvia’s roads for the country’s residents and visitors.”