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Greek Aktor Sees Struma Contract Terminated

Greek construction company Actor, which left in everyone very good impressions after its work at the construction of Lot 3 of Trakia Highway (from Nova Zagora to Yambol) messed everything up with its contract with Struma highway. This came to such extent that last the week representatives of the Road Infrastructure Agency reported that they had taken the necessary action to terminate the contract for the construction of this section of the motorway from Sandanski to the border crossing point Kulata.

At present, the site has been fulfilled at about 50%. A commission, which includes representatives of the developer, the construction supervision, the designer and the contractor will map the current construction activities at the site. It will carry out a comprehensive test for the quality of the completed construction and installation works, said representatives of the agency led by Mr. Lazar Lazarov. The Agency is expected soon to announce a new competition for a contract to complete the section. The deadline for its implementation will be up to 150 days from the signing of the Protocol 2A (the building permit). The prospective contractor will be required to repair the road surface of the bypass routes as well.

In practice, however, the time is very short and the project is now in the risky group. If the new builder does not do the job until the end of 2015 the state will have to repay the European funding for the route.

The failure, of course, will be blamed mostly to the Greek company that tried to take a bigger pie they could handle. In 2011 Actor give the lowest price in the auction for additional design and construction of Lot 4 of Struma - 55,980,000 levs without VAT or nearly two times less then the set target price of about 53 million euro. The plot was considered one of the easiest - of only 15 km - and complications were expected only around the relocation of 3.3 km from the railway line Sofia-Kulata. To preserve biodiversity in the region, the project envisaged even the construction of special concrete walls and tunnels through which protected species could pass, such as turtles, frogs, lizards and others. Surprisingly, however, in August, because of problems with materials and acquisition procedures of the land, Actor requested further 39 million levs as an addition to the price.

The state was not bound to provide aggregate or any other materials, and in the providing the necessary land there were appeals, indeed, but they had been completed and were associated with the diverting facilities rather than with the ones along the main track. These risks by contract are carried by the builder, said caretaker construction minister Katerina Zaharieva. In late September, she warned that if the Greeks fail to get down to work and do not present a new work schedule, their contract will be terminated. It seems the warning did not have the desired effect.

The BANKER

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