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ZAGREB (Croatia), July 23 (SeeNews) - Croatian railway infrastructure operator HZ Infrastruktura has received 10 bids in its tender for the revamp of a 42.6 km section of the railway leading to the border with Hungary - a project worth an estimated 297 million euro ($332 million), it said.
The project is of strategic importance for Croatia and represents the biggest railway infrastructure investment in the country's recent history, with 85% of financing coming from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), HZ Infrastruktura said in a statement on Monday.
The project includes an upgrade and doubling of tracks between the towns of Krizevci and Koprivnica in northern Croatia. It will contribute to improving the railway link in the Croatian part of the Mediterranean corridor, which stretches from the border with Hungary via Zagreb to the Adriatic port of Rijeka, thus helping increasing the port's cargo traffic and strengthen its competitiveness.
The Mediterranean corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) connects Croatia to neighbouring Hungary and Slovenia, and Southern Europe to Eastern Europe, from Spain to the Ukrainian border.
HZ Infrastruktura said that the lowest bid was submitted by a Chinese consortium comprising Sinohydro Corporation Limited and Sinohydro Engineering Bureau 4 co, which offered a price of 2.41 billion kuna ($365 million/326 million euro) without VAT.
Next came the 2.418 billion kuna offer of Turkeys Cengiz Insaat, followed by a regional consortium of Croatia's DIV Grupa, Bosnia's Intgral Inzenjering and Slovakia's TSS Grade with an offer of 2.535 billion kuna.
Another Chinese consortium comprising China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group offered 2.83 billion kuna, while a tie-up of Turkey's Yapi Merkezi Insaat and Croatia's Kolektor Koling proposed to to the job for 2.869 billion kuna.
A consortium of Italy's Rizzani de Eccher and Slovenia's SZ-Zeleznisko Gradbeno Podjetje offered 2.882 billion kuna, Greece's Avax proposed 2.898 billion kuna, a tie-up led by Austria's Strabag offered 2.979 billion kuna, while a consortium of Spain's Comsa and Italy's GCF Generale Costruzioni Ferroviarie proposed 3.03 billion kuna.
The highest bid of 3.054 billion kuna came from Spain's SA de Obras y Servisios, Copasa.
HZ Infrastruktura will now evaluate the bids and choose the most favourable one. It also said that it will open a tender for another section on the Mediterranean corridor, Hrvatski Leskovac-Karlovac, at the end of the year, with works estimated at 315 million euro.
(1 euro = 7.38814 kuna)