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SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 14 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian state-owned natural gas transmission network operator Bulgartransgaz said that its 351 million levs ($203 million/180 million euro) compressor station construction tender has been suspended over a complaint filed with the competition regulator, asking for the temporary suspension of the procedure.
The procedure will remain suspended until the competition regulator dismisses the request for its suspension, or, in case it grants the request, until a final ruling on the complaint is published, Bulgartransgaz said in a statement on Thursday.
According to data from the Commission for Protection of Competition's (CPC) website, the complaint was filed by Romania-based piping systems provider J. Christof E&P Services, which objects to clarifications provided by Bulgartransgaz in relation to questions raised by potential participants in the procedure.
The clarifications concern various aspects of the procedure, including access to documents, parts of the technical specification, requirements for participation, and others.
Earlier this week Bulgartransgaz said that a consortium of local company Klimatronik, Belarus-based construction company Alvora, Ukraine's Poltavaspezmontage and Spanish infrastructure consulting company TEC Cuatro, and another consortium comprising Bulgaria's Glavbolgarstroy and Germany's Ferrostaal Industrieanlagen have placed bids in the tender.
The tender, which was launched in April, envisages investment project design, supply of materials and equipment, and the construction works of two compressor stations in Provadiya and Rasovo, in the northeastern and southwestern part of the country, respectively. The two compressor stations are needed in order to extend the TurkStream pipeline through Bulgaria.
This is the second complaint filed against Bulgartransgaz over the course of its works on the TurkStream pipeline project in Bulgaria. Earlier this month the CPC said that 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 484 km-long pipeline between Bulgaria's borders with Turkey and Serbia and to replace it with the second-ranked participant - a consortium comprising Italy's Consorzio Varna 1 and the Bulgarian branch of Luxembourg-registered Completions Development.
At the end of January, Bulgartransgaz 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.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)