Dispute over alleged construction irregularities blocks Romania’s high-power laser project
The project of the high-power laser in Magurele, south of Bucharest, is currently blocked due to alleged irregularities found at the building set to host the Gamma ray system, an important component of the project.
EuroGammaS, the consortium that was supposed to install the Gamma system, which is an association of firms and scientific entities from Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the UK, refused to install the equipment because of several irregularities found at the building, local Recorder.ro reported. For example, their tests showed the floor is not uniform and the materials used are of doubtful quality. The foreign researchers said they could not install the equipment in any conditions and refused to go on with their work.
On the other hand, the Romanian side said the conditions meet the standards, adding that they have their own tests showing it. However, they haven’t presented documents in this sense so far.
One year ago, the Magurele Institute asked EuroGammaS to pay penalties for the delay. It then decided to cancel the contract and, at this point, EuroGammaS representatives decided to settle the dispute in court. The foreign researchers said the delays were caused by the deficiencies they allegedly found when they tested the infrastructure provided by the Romanian side.
The trial has recently begun at the Ilfov Tribunal in Buftea, close to Bucharest. According to Recorder.ro, the next hearing is scheduled for end-January.
Meanwhile, European Commission representatives have recently called the two sides to a meeting, hoping to solve this dispute. They also warned that Romania risks loosing some of the EU funds allocated to this project. This part of the project required an investment of EUR 67 million, out of a total of over EUR 300 million allocated, from EU funds, for the entire project in Magurele.
The Magurele laser project is one of the three pillars of the pan-European project ELI, which will become the world’s most advanced global structure destined to studies related to photon radiation with extreme characteristics. The other two centers, namely ELI-Beamlines and ELI-ALPS, will be built in the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Irina Marica, email@example.com
(photo source: Eli-np.ro)