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SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 2 (SeeNews) - Greece's J&P-AVAX and a tie-up named IGB-2018 have submitted offers to build the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria in a tender valued at an estimated 145 million euro ($162.4 million) excluding VAT, the project company said on Tuesday.
Sofia-based ICGB is planning to complete the selection process next month, paving the way for construction works to begin in June, it said in a statement.
The deadline for completing construction works is 18 months from their start.
"The next steps include review and evaluation of the technical proposals, technical assessment in accordance with the indicators of the methodology and opening of the price proposals," ICGB said.
According to previous statements from ICGB, the IGB-2018 consortium comprises Italy's Bonatti and Bulgarian construction companies GP Group and Glavbolgarstroy International.
The tender attracted expressions of interest from more than 10 candidates, five of which were selected by ICGB to submit offers in the second stage of the procedure.
Besides J&P-AVAX and the IGB-2018 tie-up, three candidates were also invited to proceed to second stage: consortium Max Streicher - Terna/ICGB, consortium Spiecapag Trace IGB 2018, and joint venture CPP-AKTOR.
The IGB pipeline 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. Depending on interest from the market and the capacities of the neighbouring gas transmission systems, the capacity of the pipeline can be increased up to 5 billion cu m per year, thus allowing for physical reverse flow from Bulgaria to Greece with the additional installation of a compressor station.
The gas link is estimated to cost 220 million euro overall. The project company has secured a sovereign guarantee of 110 million euro which could ensure loan financing under preferable conditions.
ICGB is a 50/50 joint venture of state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greece-registered IGI Poseidon. Greek public gas corporation DEPA and Italian energy group Edison own 50% each of IGI Poseidon.
($ = 0.8926 euro)