Bulgaria, The gas interconnection with Serbia will be built by Canpipe consortium

, SEE Energy News

The Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) rejected all complaints against the decision of state-owned natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz to choose the Canpipe consortium as the main contractor for the construction of the gas interconnection with Serbia.

By a narrow majority, with four votes in favor and two against, the Commission rejected complaints against the decision to award the contract to the Canpipe consortium. The disagreement within the Commission and the separate opinions of the Chairman and one member, indicate that in this case there is a strong conflict of interest.

The construction of the Bulgarian gas interconnection with Serbia is temporarily blocked, which directly affects the postponement of the deadline for the completion of the project – May 2022. This is a problem because the interconnection could provide real diversification of natural gas supplies in Bulgaria, unlike the section of the TurkStream through the country.

In June, Bulgartransgaz announced that the offer of Canpipe BG worth some 70 million euros is ranked first in the tender for the construction of a Bulgarian section of gas interconnection with Serbia. The statement from the company said that Canpipe BG, a local company established by Canadian Canpipe Industries International Inc, received an overall score of 97.79 points in the tender. The offer submitted by a consortium of Bulgarian companies Glavbolgarstroy and Glavbolgarstroy International was ranked second with overall score of 97.14 points. Bulgartransgaz said earlier that a total of 11 offers was received at the tender. The tender was launched in January.

Last month, CPC has suspended the tender due to a number of complaints against the selection of local company Canpipe BG as contractor in the project. The statement from the Commission said that the project does not meet the criteria of urgency that would justify the awarding of the public procurement contract to the selected candidate before the Commission has issued its final ruling on the complaints.

The complaints that suspended the project were submitted by candidates which were excluded from competing or were ranked below the winner in 73.4 million euros tender for the supply of equipment and the construction of the Bulgarian section of the gas interconnector with Serbia, published by Bulgarian natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz.