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Romanian state plans two new highway projects under EUR 2 bln concession contracts

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The Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads (CNADNR) intends to organize a tender for the design and construction of two highway projects. The planned new highway schemes are for  Craiova-Pitesti and Ploiesti-Buzau-Focsani, and will value up to EUR 2 billion.

The first contract, for Craiova to Pitesti, has an estimated value from EUR 822 million to EUR 1.1 billion, according to the information made public on e-licitatie.ro. The winning contractor will have to design, finance, build, maintain and operate the highway section for a maximum of 30 years. Adjudication procedures are expected to start on June 28, 2013.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta called this a priority project, with options for a highway or an express way open, depending on traffic intensity.

The expected costs of the Ploieşti-Buzau-Focsani concession contract range from EUR 801 million to a maximum of EUR 1.07 billion, exclusive of VAT, with the same set of obligations to be undertaken by the winning contractor.

The two projects have come back into the spotlight after being halted for a while due to CNADNR’s focus on developing Pan-European Corridor IV.

The history of motorway building under concession contract in Romania has seen its fair share of turmoil. Attempts to get the Comarnic-Brasov project going have placed CNADNR in very tight spots, with a first tender failure in 2004, tender winners suddenly withdrawing in 2010 and, more recently, an alleged bribe being included in the task book drawn up by the Romanian authority.

In fact, Narcisa Neaga, Head of the CNADNR Concession Department was fired in October 2012 based on the findings of a press investigation pointing to consultancy selection documentation that included requirements such as providing a EUR 25- 30,000 car and EUR 30-40,000 worth of training to CNADNR’s employees.

Ioana Jelea ioana.jelea@romania-insider.com