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Bulgaria's anti-trust body rejects Toplivo-2's appeal of ICGB's tendering process

Bulgaria's anti-trust body rejects Toplivo-2's appeal of ICGB's tendering process Denys Prykhodov/

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 12 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's competition regulator said it has rejected the appeal filed by local company Toplivo-2 against its disqualification from the tender for supply of line pipes for the Bulgaria-Greece gas link project.

The appeal was rejected on June 6 as the anti-trust body found no evidence that Toplivo-2 had been illegitimately removed from the selection procedure or that the offer of the winner, Corinth Pipeworks Industry, lacked some important documentation, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said in its decision published on Tuesday.

In May, CPC allowed ICGB - the company developing the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria project, to sign a contract with Corinth Pipeworks Industry despite the still unresolved complaint, motivating its decision with the strategic importance of the project and the deadline for its completion. 

Subsequently, Toplivo-2 filed an appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court against the regulator's decision to allow ICGB to proceed with its intention to sign a deal with Corinth Pipeworks before a final ruling on the complaint has been issued.

Toplivo-2, which is fully owned by private investor Vasil Shtrakov, will have to pay a total of 4,000 levs in court fees to both ICGB and Corinth Pipeworks, CPC said.

ICGB said last month it has selected Greece's Corinth Pipeworks Industry to supply line pipes for the project under a 58.2 million euro ($65.8 million) contract. Toplivo-2's technical proposal did not fully meet the requirements of the technical specification, according to ICGB.

The contract will have a one-year term, with first deliveries expected within four months of its signing.

The pipeline, which has a total estimated cost of some 220 million euro, will connect the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini to the Bulgarian gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora. The planned length of the pipeline is 182 km and the projected capacity will be up to 3 billion cu m per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria.

The project is being implemented by the joint venture company ICGB, in which state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greece-registered IGI Poseidon hold equal stakes. Greek public gas corporation DEPA and Italian energy group Edison own 50% each of IGI Poseidon.

($ = 0.88355 euro)