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Montenegro officially annuls contract with Croatian consortium

06. March 2010. | 08:39

Source: RadioNET

The decision put an end to year-long negotiations with Konstruktor and created an opportunity to hire other bidders in the tender to take part in what was referred to as "the job of the century" in Montenegro.

The Montenegrin government on Thursday officially terminated a contract on a licence to build a highway in Montenegro, signed with a Croatian consortium headed by the Konstruktor company from Split, deciding to continue the already launched talks with the Greek-Israeli consortium Aktor, the second best bidder in the tender for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway.

The decision put an end to year-long negotiations with Konstruktor and created an opportunity to hire other bidders in the tender to take part in what was referred to as "the job of the century" in Montenegro.

"The government has set a time frame of one month for talks with the Greek, after which in the following two months it will oblige Aktor to finalise the financial scheme," Montenegrin Transport and Maritime Affairs Minister Andrija Lompar told reporters.

Representatives of the Greek-Israeli consortium said that the Montenegrin government had still not invited them to discuss the construction of the highway under their terms. They said that they were ready for the job, that they had enough money and were willing to lower their original price.

The Podgorica daily Dan said that the Bar-Boljare highway, if built by Aktor, would be the world's most expensive highway of all time.

The Greek-Israeli consortium, with which the Montenegrin government will negotiate until the end of March, has estimated the cost of the first, 43.5 kilometre section from Smokovac to Matesevo at EUR 1.24 billion or EUR 28.5 million per kilometre.

This is almost three times the cost of one kilometre of a highway running through Slovenia (EUR 9.77 million per kilometre) regardless of the unfavourable terrain configuration. By comparison, the most demanding section of the Zagreb-Dubrovnik highway will cost EUR 7.14 million per kilometre, the daily says.

The prevailing sentiment in the Montenegrin public is one of regret that the Croatian consortium did not manage to win the "job of the century" and that a lot of time has been wasted.

The media in Podgorica carry statements by Croatian officials saying that the job had not been prepared well and that the government in Zagreb had done its best to help save it.


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08. March - 14. March 2010.