August 27, 2019 / 12:23 PM / 25 days ago

Bechtel-Enka consortium sole bidder for Serbian road project

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Bechtel-Enka, a U.S.-Turkish consortium, was the only bidder for a project to build a 112.5 km (70 mile) road in Serbia, a part of government plans to spend 8 billion euro ($8.9 billion) on infrastructure, the infrastructure ministry said on Tuesday.

Belgrade has been seeking partners to build the road to link towns along the West Morava River in central Serbia which have a total population of around 500,000.

The new road would also connect the area with two other main highways.

“The government will make a final decision in the coming days about choosing the strategic partner for the Morava (highway) corridor,” the ministry’s statement said.

Serbia wants to join the European Union and to do so it must strengthen economic links with its neighbors, including former Yugoslav republics.

Under the terms of the Aug. 5 tender, potential partners were required to have had annual turnover of at least 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) between 2016 and 2018, and provide a letter of intent from international financial bodies, banks or other sources for the financing of the project of at least 400 million euros.

In 2019, Bechtel-Enka (ENKAI.IS) also built a 700-million-euro 65.5-kilometer motorway linking Serbia’s former province of Kosovo with neighboring North Macedonia and in 2013 a highway from Kosovo’s capital Pristina to the border with Albania.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Jane Merriman

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