HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I am putting my face on this project. That's the main reason why I am here," Sergio De Luca told the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
The chief executive officer of Ansaldo STS told HART's finance and project oversight committees that his company operates with no long term debt.
"Ansaldo STS is considered a strong financial organization by the most reputable financial analysts in the world," he said.
"That's a strong statement, especially in this economy," HART chair Carrie Okinaga said.
The board wanted answers from De Luca about the future of Ansaldo Breda -- Ansaldo STS's partner in the Honolulu project -- and how that could be affected if Ansaldo Breda's owner sold it.
"I don't think that Finmeccanica, the owner of Ansaldo Breda, will undertake a deal able to damage our interest," he said.
Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture was awarded the $1.4 billion contract to design and build 80 rail cars, and to operate the transit system.
"Are you confident, sir, that Breda will deliver the cars on time and on budget?" HART finance committee chair Don Horner asked.
"I can say in nine contracts that we have together, Ansaldo Breda has always delivered on time, on budget and with full satisfaction of the customer," De Luca answered.
HART also wanted one more assurance that awarding the bid to Ansaldo was legitimate.
"We remain confident that the procurement process was diligently followed," HART interim executive director Toru Hamayasu said.
De Luca said Ansaldo provides more than fifty percent of the high speed lines in the world, with the exception of China
"We are strongly and proudly committed to serve Honolulu with a world-class system," he said.
Friday was the deadline for the city to sign the contract with Ansaldo. Hamayasu said that will happen next week.