The Slovenia Times

Turkish bidder on track to win Karavanke contract


"We won," Mohamed Cengiz, the main negotiator for the Turkish company, told reporters after the end of the talks, adding they were waiting to start working with Slovenian subcontractors as soon as possible.

Unofficially, the talks ended after the first round on Tuesday, but DARS is yet to announce its final decision, when it will also reveal the latest offers made by the three bidders.

Apart from Cengiz, DARS also invited to talks a consortium of Slovenian companies Kolektor CGP and Riko and their Turkish partner Yapi Merkezi, and a consortium including Implenia Österreich, Implenia Schweiz and CGP Novo Mesto.

According to information after the second call for bids, Cengiz offered to build the eight-kilometre border tunnel with Austria for EUR 99.6 million, while the other two bidders made estimates of EUR 121 million and EUR 121.5 million.

Once the selection has been endorsed by the DARS's management and supervisory board, the decision will be handed to the bidders, who have eight work days to file potential complaints, the last possible in the long bidding process.

Under the best-case scenario, the decision could become final by the end of the year and DARS could sign a contract with the selected builder after the New Year's. A complaint would protract the process for about a month.

Nevertheless, Cengiz expects to be able to sign the contract as early as this year. "I think we can sign by the end of the month," said Mohamed Cengiz, son of the Cengiz owner, who is responsible for foreign markets.

Rudolf Knopf, executive director of Implenia Österreich, commented on the talks by saying that they had tried their best with the Slovenian partner. "But we didn't succeed because there is no chance you can beat the Turkish company".

Representatives of Kolektor CGP, Riko and Yapi Merkezi would not make comments after the talks.

Nor would Cengiz and Knopf reveal what their latest offers were, with Cengiz saying that this would not be right before DARS announced its decision.

Unofficial information indicates that Cengiz lowered its bid by a million euro in the talks to just above EUR 94 million. The opening price at the negotiations is said to have been lower than the last offered because it did not include certain items.

Kolektor CGP, Riko and Yapi Merkezi reduced their estimate by about EUR 17 million, and Implenia Avstrija and the partners by EUR 6 million, according to unofficial information obtained by Delo.

DARS first published a public call to pick a contractor for the project in December 2017, but the process has been delayed by continuous appeals.

The start of construction had initially been slated for mid-2018. It is expected to take five years. Austria started boring its section of the tunnel in September 2018.


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