Wed, May 22 2013
JAPANESE company Mitsui, contracted in a consortium with Toshiba to rehabilitate the four generating units of Maritsa Iztok 2 thermal power plant, has said it is against the selection of a consultant on the project, the Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources announced.
The Government is expected, in a matter of days, to sign a contract to hire the consultant, which is to be a consortium of five companies - the US arm of the international firm Parsons Energy & Chemicals Group Inc, the German RWE Power and STEAG, and the Bulgarian Risk Engineering and Ikar Consult.
According to media reports, the Cabinet is hoping to employ the consultant's expert opinion in an attempt to lower the budget for the rehabilitation of Maritsa Iztok 2, requested by Mitsui, and include additional projects if the price remains the same.
Under the preliminary estimates, the repair project is to cost 226 million euro. However, some specialists claim that the actual price for the modernisation is lower. Therefore, the Government will try to persuade the Japanese to make some additional repairs, which will not be paid.
Bulgaria asked for a reduction in the modernisation budget in the negotiation phase with Mitsui but the Japanese company did not accept.
At a meeting with Energy Ministry officials on April 1, Mitsui representatives said that they disagreed with the fact that the consultant will have the final say on the supply of equipment and that it will issue various construction permits. The consultant will be paid a fee of at least 20 million euro. The Japanese company said that it would contest the procedure in court.
During the previous procedure to hire a consultant, the plant's choice was challenged before court by one of the failed candidates, a consortium of US company S&L Engineers Limited and Bulgaria's Energoproekt. The court has ruled that the procedure breached the Public Procurement Act, but now Maritsa Iztok 2 management is contesting this judgement.
The rehabilitation of the plant's units should boost its capacity by 150 to160 megawatts whereby their useful life will be extended by 20 years. The project will be 85 per cent financed by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation.
Maritsa Iztok 2, which has eight units with a total capacity of 1450 megawatts, is located at the Maritsa Iztok lignite coal-mining complex in Southern Bulgaria that generates 30 per cent of the country's electricity.
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