STRABAG FACES MORE FORFEITS
After the sanctions for the delayed construction of the new Sofia Airport's terminal, the Austrian company Strabag faces forfeits for another project in Bulgaria as well - the rehabilitation of the 70-km Montana-Vidin section, also known as Lot No 9 of the Transit Roads Rehabilitation Project III. The Austrians may have to pay EUR980 per day in compensation if the reasons for the delay of repair are not acknowledged by the Bulgarian authorities and the European Commission (EC). Under the contract, signed in October 2003, the EUR9.8MN project was to be completed by August 31, 2005. A daily forfeit, amounting to 0.1% of the contract's worth, was stipulated for an aleatory extension of that term.By the end of this year we may finish the first and second section of the road. The third stage, however, turned out problematic as the asphalt covering was not at all maintained during the seven years since the project's drafting till the beginning of its implementation. We already have more than 16 additional reconstructions and the delay will be probably about a year, Iliya Tassev, Chairman of Ingstroy's BoD, said in front of a reporter of the BANKER weekly. The firm in which Strabag also holds shares, is a subcontractor of the project.Rehabilitation of Lot 3 of the Transit Roads Rehabilitation Project III, including 26.2 km of the Hemus highway, has been delayed, too, although the first of the four sections (between the village of Zherkovo and Botevgrad) was officially opened on Monday (September 26). The official ceremony for the commissioning of the renovated parcel was attended by Antonio Izquierdo, First Secretary and Team Leader of the Financial Section of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bulgaria, Lyubomir Lilov, Deputy Executive Director of Roads Executive Agency (REA) Bulgaria, and Georg Janisch, Director of Strabag.The EUR3.6MN contract for Lot 4 was signed in February 2003 and its term for fulfilment was 18 months. The reason for the delay was Brussels' requirement to change the initially projected elastic railings by new ones, meeting European standards. That raised additionally the expenses for the project by EUR860,000 lengthened the work on Lot 4 by 110 days, Mr. Tassev explained. Thus, the rehabilitation of that section of the Hemus highway, including lay-by renovation, reconstruction of the draining equipment and replacement of railings, should be completed on November 2005.