BUSINESS IN SHORT

Two expelled bidders back in toll tender

TWO CONSORTIUMS that were dropped from the tender to build and run Slovakia’s electronic toll collection system are back in the running.

TWO CONSORTIUMS that were dropped from the tender to build and run Slovakia’s electronic toll collection system are back in the running.

The Slovak-Swiss ToSy.sk consortium, headed by the Slovak Elektrovod Holding company, and SanToll and Ibertax, a group headed by France’s Thales firm, can continue in the tender, the SITA newswire wrote on January 8.

The Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) upheld the groups’ objections and overturned the decision of the National Highway Company (NDS) to expel them from the competition.

The consortiums filed their motions with the ÚVO on December 4 and December 6, after the NDS turned down their objections.

The NDS expected the shortlisted candidates would have to submit their bids between January 10 and January 15, instead of the initially-scheduled deadline of November 23, 2007.

“We will wait for the verdict of the Public Procurement Office and then we will go ahead with all the participants,” Igor Choma, NDS director general and government proxy for road infrastructure construction, told the SITA newswire in December. “We have not invited anybody to forward their bids yet; we even have not had the time to conduct all the review processes.”

According to earlier unofficial information, three groups were expected to advance to the second round of the competition: Satways, headed by Slovak Telekom; a group led by the Austrian Kapsch company; and Slovakpass, headed by the Italian highway company Autostrade per I’Italia.

Electronic toll collection is to start running in Slovakia on January 1, 2009 for motor vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes. Tolls will be charged on a network of roads and highways measuring about 2,400 kilometres.

The NDS plans to sign a contract with the future supplier to run the toll collection system for 14 years, with the option of extending the contract for another five years.

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