International Construction Giants Compete to Build Pelješac Bridge

Total Croatia News

There is just one Croatian company among those who have applied to the first round of the public tender.

By the end of this month or early next month, Croatian Roads public company will announce names of companies that will enter second round of the tender for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge. According to unofficial reports, 12 consortia and individual companies have applied to the tender, reports Jutarnji List on January 14, 2017.

Among the applicants are prominent global construction companies, including for the first time companies from China. Only one Croatian company applied to the tender –Viadukt from Zagreb, together with Bouygues from France. Strabag from Germany is the only company which submitted an individual bid.

Among the bidders, there are companies which have already taken part in other projects in Croatia. One team consists of Bechtel from the United States and Enka from Turkey, which built the Bosiljevo-Sveti Rok motorway section. Astaldi from Italy also applied, and it previously worked on the Zagreb-Goričan highway. It submitted a bid together with Ic Ictas from Turkey, which built a bridge over the Bosphorus. Other companies which have applied are Comsa from Spain, Aktor from Greece, Daewoo from South Korea, Eiffage from France, Cimolai from Italy, and Obrascon from Spain. There are also two Chinese consortia. One is led by China Road and Bridge Corporation, and the other by Sichuan Road and Bridges Corporation. According to sources, both are reputable and renowned construction companies which are able to realize this impressive project.

In the first round, they all must prove that they are technically and financially capable of meeting the tender requirements. In the second round, those who pass the first round will submit their financial offers. In addition to the bridge, the tender includes the construction of 1,780 metres of access roads on the mainland side and 800 metres of roads on the Pelješac side.

According to experts, the final price of construction could far exceed the estimated project value of 1.756 billion kuna, which was anticipated by Croatian Roads. “Such a low price could possibly be met only by Chinese companies, but even that is in doubt”, said one expert. Many believe that the realistic cost of this project is about 300 million euros, or about 2.2 billion kuna. “The bridge will require around 70,000 tons of steel. Its price with processing is about 3 euros per kilogram, and the price is growing. So, just the steel will cost about 200 million euros.”

There are also other costs. For example, daily charter of a vessel for driving pylons in the seabed is around 10,000 euros. The price will be additionally increased by the installed equipment. For example, the interior of the bridge will have built-in fan systems and dehumidifiers to protect the bridge from corrosion. Such a protection system will be installed for the first time in a Croatian bridge.

Croatia expects that the European Commission will co-finance the construction with 85 percent of the total costs. However, EU funding earmarked for the construction of road infrastructure in Croatia is not infinite. According to available information, EU funds for road construction projects in Croatia amount to 330 million euros until 2023. If this project is co-financed with 85 percent from EU funds, there would be no money left for any other road project.

Representatives of the Transport Ministry and Regional Development Ministry will review all documents and applied with the project to the Independent Quality Review of the European Commission, which will give a positive or a negative opinion about the project. It is believed that its assessment could be made within about 3 months, while the final decision on co-financing could be made by the summer.


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