Despite pressure being put on Greece’s privatizations fund (HRADF) to push back the deadline for the submission of binding offers for Egnatia Odos, the HRADF appears - so far - determined to stick to the existing schedule. Fund officials argue that the pre-selection of seven candidates was done 2.5 years ago and that they had enough time to prepare. Even if there is an extension, it will be for a few days, some say.
What is certain is that some foreign and domestic groups are not sufficiently prepared or cannot provide the basic elements that need to be incorporated in their offers. These groups will have difficulty even in the case of a small extension, according to people involved in the tender process.
Yesterday, the HRADF had a board meeting and any possible extension was not on the agenda, although it is not known whether this was unofficially discussed.
The construction industry has known for months that until recently four of the seven candidates were more active. Roadis Transportation Holding S.L.U. - AKTOR Concessions, the consortium Sichuan Communications Investment Group C. Ltd - Damco Energy (Kopelouzos group), the consortium Vinci Highways S.A.S. - Vinci Concessions S.A.S. - Mytilineos and the GEK TERNA scheme - Egis Projects S.A.
As reported by Business Daily, the submission of an offer from Italy’s ANAS International Enterprise S.p.A, which belongs to the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane group, a major shareholder of TRAINOSE and EESSTY, is not certain.
The Italians bought the last two through HRADF tenders. The same goes for the Australian investment group Macquarie, which is claiming the concession of Egnatia Odos through Freyja Holdings SARL. It would also be a surprise if Greek DIOLKOS Construction puts in an offer against the powerful in the industry. DIOLKOS belongs, however, to a strong group, Ravago, with a considerable presence in the production and distribution of polymer chemical products in Europe and elsewhere.
The object of the concession is the highway’s main axis together with three vertical axes. That is, the main axis from Igoumenitsa to Evros with a length of 658 km and the vertical axes Siatista-Krystallopigi, Halastra-Evzoni and Thessaloniki-Promachonas with a total length of all 225 km.
The latest post-memorandum report from the European Commission on Greece highlights the importance of the issue for the promotion of competition. It is reported that a large number of side toll stations started operating at the beginning of November and that additional stations will start operating by the time bids are submitted.
The report emphasizes that the Ministry of Infrastructure has committed that all toll stations will be operational before the concession tender is completed and the contract is signed. It concludes that in the last two months there has been significant progress in other issues as well, such as the licensing of the remaining 14 tunnels.