IGB tenders, moving fast, aim for winning bidders by May

Procedures leading to pipeline procurement and construction contracts through a tender concerning the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas grid interconnector are progressing rapidly, the aim of the project’s officials being to announce the winning bidders by May and give the go-ahead for work to commence in June.

The project’s tenders are being staged amid a period of heightened geopolitical interest and activity in the Balkans, which has spurred hopes of the IGB’s completion and launch within the first half of 2020.

Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova are expected to acknowledge the swift progress being made at a meeting in Sofia next Monday. They may even announce an even swifter schedule for the project’s completion.

ICGB, the IGB project’s consortium, is a joint venture involving YAFA Poseidon – a Greek gas utility DEPA half-owned subsidiary – and the state-controlled Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).

Two of five candidates submitted bids just days ago to the second phase of a tender concerning the design, procurement and construction of the gas pipeline, a 182-km stretch budgeted at 145 million euros.

Greece’s J&P Avax and a rival consortium comprising Italy’s Bonatti and two Bulgarian firms, DZZD (IGB-2018), were the two bidding formations. Their technical proposals will now be assessed and offers unveiled in the effort to declare a winning bidder next month.

A pipeline supply tender budgeted at 60 million euros has also reached an advanced stage. Greece’s Corinth Pipeworks has entered this procedure and is up against a Turkish-Bulgarian consortium.

A preceding third tender for the role of project manager, to monitor the project on behalf of shareholders, has already produced a winning bidder, a consortium named TIBEI, whose 5.57 million-euro offer secured this contract.

TIBEI is comprised of Belgium’s Tractebel Engineering SA, Italy’s Tractebel Engineering SRL, Austria-based INTBER GMBH, as well as two Bulgarian firms, Ipsilon Consult OOD and Engineering EAD.



Offers soon for IGB gas pipeline project tenders, nearing completion

Three tenders offering contracts for Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas grid interconnector’s project manager, pipeline procurement and construction are approaching completion.

Offers for the tender to appoint a project manager, to monitor development on behalf of shareholders, are expected this month.

Greece is well represented in the tender concerning the construction of the IGB pipeline, planned to cover a 182-km stretch and budgeted at 145 million euros. A total of five consortiums with three Greek firms on board have advanced to this tender’s second round.

Germany’s Max Streicher has teamed up with Greece’s Terna; China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering has joined forces with Aktor; and J&P Avax is the third local qualifier. Their bids are expected next week.

ICGB, the IGB project’s consortium, a joint venture involving YAFA Poseidon – a Greek gas utility DEPA half-owned subsidiary – and the state-controlled Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), plans to have appraised these offers within a month before announcing a preferred bidder at the end of April.

The IGB is planned to be linked with the TAP route, offering Bulgaria and the wider southeast European region access to Caspian gas as well as LNG.


J&P-Avax awarded desulfurization contract for PPC’s Agios Dimitrios unit

The main power utility PPC has awarded the J&P-Avax construction group a contract for the procurement and installation of an emission desulfurization system at Unit V, the most recent addition of the utility’s lignite-fired facility in Agios Dimitrios, close to Kozani in northern Greece.

The contract for the desulfurization project at Unit V is worth 68 million euros. It still needs to be endorsed by a parliamentary committee before being finalized.

J&P-Avax plans to collaborate with Sirius Engineers Ltd, a project management, engineering and consulting company specializing in power station cleaning technologies, as well as Steuler KCH GmbH, for this particular project. Sirius Engineers Ltd will focus on the desulfurization project’s design and Steuler KCH on its absorption tower.

PPC’s tender for its Agios Dimitrios project developed into a long-running ordeal. The tender was launched in 2012 but ended up being cancelled while bids were being assessed as a result of wider project rescheduling at the utility.

A follow-up tender was then announced early in 2015. It drew five bids, made by Terna, J&P-Avax, Metka, Toxotis and an Intrakat-Ergotem joint venture.

Toxotis was eventually eliminated because a sub-contractor, CPI Yuanda Environmental Protection Engineering Co. Ltd – a subsidiary of Chinese giant SPIC – which would have designed the project, did not meet certain criteria. An appeal filed by Toxotis in May, 2016, was rejected. This contributed to a delay in the date set for the opening of bids.

SPIC’s elimination from the second tender did not dishearten another Chinese giant, CMEC – currently involved in talks with PPC for the construction and operation of the utility’s prospective Meliti II unit, also in northern Greece – from expressing an interest in the Agios Dimitrios Unit V desulfurization project. CMEC had proposed fully funding the project and being paid for its services over a period exceeding ten years. However, bringing CMEC into the picture would have required cancelling and relaunching the tender. Major delays would have ensued.