mi-ottawa-lrt-cyrville-300

An artist's rendering shows Cyrville Station, one stop on Ottawa's proposed light rail transit line. ((Ottawa Light Rail))

The company that won nearly $37 million from Ottawa after the city cancelled a light rail contract wants a shot at bidding on the current proposed $2.1 billion LRT project.

Siemens is also looking for ways around a relatively new regulation which gives Canadian manufacturers an unfair advantage, it says.

When the city posts a request for bids on the project later this year, Siemens will be among the bidders, spokesperson D.L. Leslie said.

"I can confirm that we're very much interested in this project."

But Siemens, a multinational based in Germany, is concerned about Ontario's 25-per cent domestic content rule, which requires that transit vehicles bought with provincial funds must be at least one-quarter Canadian made.

Siemens manufactures its trains in California, and Leslie said the three-year-old regulation gives Canadian manufacturers like Bombardier an unfair advantage. Changing the rule "would make a fair and even playing field for all competition."

Siemens approached both the city and the province about waiving or amending the policy, but the Ministry of Transportation said it has no plans to do so, and a city hall source said staff are also shrugging off the company's complaint. 

In 2006, a consortium including Siemens won $778 million contract to build a longer LRT that would have run on the surface through the downtown. Council later voted to kill that deal.

Siemens  and the other consortium members sued the city for $177 million, settling for $36.7 million in 2009.

The current plan calls for a 12.5 kilometre line from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station with a 3.2 kilometre tunnel under the downtown.

With files from the CBC's Alistair Steele