EC Gives Green Light to Sofia Waste Plant
The Sofia City Hall has received a positive response from the European Commission on the selected contractor for the plant for mechanical and biological waste treatment.
The letter, received Friday afternoon, informs that all doubts of violations in selecting the contractor, a consortium between Greek companies "Aktor" and "Helektor," have been cleared and the project can now go ahead.
The announcement was made Saturday by Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, cited by "Standard" daily.
According to her, the contract with the builder of the plant will be signed in the last days of 2013, after which construction could begin.
An opinion is still expected from Bulgaria's Ministry of Environment and Waters, which manages the EU Operational Program "Environment."
"I expect to receive this opinion by the end of the day and then we will sign the contract for construction of the plant on December 27; we are fully prepared for this," said Fandakova.
In October, Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) confirmed the decision of the Sofia Municipality to select as contractor for the construction of Sofia's waste plant the consortium "Aktor –Helektor."
The consortium is headquartered in Athens, Greece.
The case originated from three claims – from "Aktor – Helektor," from the consortium "Stanilov-Daneko, "with headquarters in Sofia, and from the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova.
All complaints were against a decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), which abolished an order of the Mayor of Sofia for ranking participants and for the selection of a winning bid for contractor in the public procurement tender.
The decision of CPC returned the entire procedure to the stage of examination of bidding documents in accordance with selection criteria.
VAS ruled out to strike this decision and rejected the claims of the other bidders. The rule is final and cannot be appealed.
The Greek consortium "Aktor-Helektor" was the winner of the tender for the waste processing plant, but CPC cancelled the selection of the contractor and sent the entire procedure to the examination stage of the bids. The European Commission was approached by "Actor-Helektor" about the decision of CPC. The Sofia Municipality and "Actor-Helektor" also appealed the decision before the Supreme Administrative Court.
The prosecution told VAS in October that they saw the CPC decision as incorrect and the claims of "Aktor-Helektor" and the municipality as founded.
The other bidders in the tender have insisted that "Aktor-Helektor" do not have the necessary experience to build the plant, but the Greek company countered by giving as examples similar plants they have already completed – one in Cyprus, two in Germany, and two still in constructions stage in Croatia and Russia.
The long delayed waste plant, over 4 years now, is part of the disposal system of Sofia with an estimated cost of BGN 346 M. Of these, 84.26% are funded by the EU and the rest by the Sofia Municipality. The other two components of the system are: the depot at the "Sadinata" site, which has already been completed, and the compost installation in Han Bogorov which should have been ready by the end of the year.
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