Austrians to Construct Access Roads to Pelješac Bridge for 480 Million Kuna

Lauren Simmonds

As Vedran Marjanovic/Novac writes on the 8th of November, 2019, following the official announcement of the decision of Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) to assign the construction of the access roads to Pelješac bridge on the Duboka-Šparagović/Zaradeže section to the Austrian company Strabag, a ten-day deadline for appeals from other bidders against that decision before the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures began.

Considering the current progress of the tender for the contractor for the access roads to Pelješac bridge and the installation of supporting equipment on these roads, it would be a great surprise if there were no complaints due to the further delay of the beginning of the works on the access roads to the bridge, the construction of which has already been significantly delayed.

In addition to the aforementioned road section, Croatian roads is looking for a contractor for the access road to Pelješac bridge on the Šparagovići-Doli route, and a company that will purchase and install equipment for signalling, lighting and electricity for both sections.

The decision to entrust Strabag with the construction of the Duboka-Šparagovići/Zaradeže section was decided on July the 26th this year, following the acceptance of an offer from the Austrian company of 478 million kuna and 398 thousand kuna excluding VAT. This is almost four million kuna less than the price offered before, which Croatian roads was then prepared to pay.

In addition to explaining the process of the selection of the best offer, the reasons for rejecting other bidders in the tender for the Duboka-Šparagovići/Zaradeže section have also been stated. The other offers came from the Greek companies J&P Avax and Aktor S.A., Integral Engineering from Laktaši in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a joint offer from Colas (France) and Marty (Austria), and of course the Chinese China Road and Bridge Corporation.

According to Croatian roads, J&P Avax and Aktor S.A. have been excluded from this tender because of their participation in prohibited agreements in some previous open tenders within the European Union, more specifically for failing to take the necessary legal steps to prevent further breaches of EU provisions on prohibited agreements.

Integral Engineering, according to a decision issued by Croatian roads, was rejected because of its unusually low price in its bid to build the Duboka-Šparagovići/Zaradeže section. Integral’s bid was 321 million kuna excluding VAT.

Colas and Marti’s joint bid, as well as that of China’s CRBC corporation, were rejected due to the excess bid price of 522 million kuna (Colas and Marti), or 647 million kuna in the case of CRBC’s offer.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the delay in the start of construction of the access roads to Pelješac bridge due to appeals filed to DKOM, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković announced that the state would tighten the conditions under which these appeals could be filed.

Butković is of the firm opinion that appeals should only be allowed to companies that really have a business interest to file them at all.

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