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Arkad files complaint against Bulgartransgaz over gas pipeline tender

Arkad files complaint against Bulgartransgaz over gas pipeline tender Bilfinger SE/CC BY-ND 2.0

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 10 (SeeNews) - Saudi-led consortium Arkad has filed a complaint against Bulgartransgaz's decision to disqualify it as winner in a multimillion-euro tender for the construction of a pipeline for transit of natural gas to Europe, the Bulgarian competition authority said.

The consortium comprising Saudi Arabia's Arkad Engineering and Construction Company and Italy-registered Arkad ABB has filed its complaint against the May 28 decision of the state-owned natural gas transmission network operator to choose the second-ranked candidate as a contractor in the project, the Commission for Protection of Competition said in a notice last week.

Bulgartransgaz announced Arkad as winner of the tender but subsequently removed the group from the competition because it failed to meet the deadlines for signing the contract and for submitting the necessary documents - May 2 and May 16, respectively. At the same time, Bulgartransgaz awarded the contract to the second-ranked participant in the tender - a consortium comprising Italy's Consorzio Varna 1 and the Bulgarian branch of Luxembourg-registered Completions Development. The consortium has proposed to build the 484 km-long pipeline between Bulgaria's borders with Turkey and Serbia for 2.41 billion euro ($2.72 billion) within 250 days, or for 1.10 billion euro should the deadline be extended to 615 days.

At the end of January, Bulgartransgaz successfully completed the binding Phase 3 of the economic test for the project - part of a larger project of Russia's Gazprom to build a string of its TurkStream pipeline for transit of gas to Europe from Turkey via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

The offshore section of the TurkStream pipeline stretching 930 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey consists of two parallel strings with annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas each. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the second will carry gas to customers in Europe.

($ = 0.88466 euro)