Swiss builders angry at Swiss Railways for Chinese cladding
Swiss building firms are angry at a decision by Swiss Federal Railways to buy stone cladding from China for its Europaallee development near Zurich’s main train station.
The main part of the new building has been completed – but it’s the cladding which is causing concern.
Three and a half thousand tonnes of stone – which was first quarried in Germany – has been transported to China for finishing and will then be shipped back to Switzerland. Despite the long distances, the railways say it will save them CHF 5m.
Although the Chinese firm, which has offices in Basel, has been involved with several other developments in Switzerland – those have been built by private investors. Swiss Federal Railways is a nationalized company and local builders say it should have bought the cladding from Swiss firms.
The state owned company says that would have been illegal as its bound to opt for the best value at all times – even if that means using foreign suppliers.