Saudi Arabia-led group may win bid for $1.6bn gas pipeline in Bulgaria

Saudi Arabia-led group may win bid for $1.6bn gas pipeline in Bulgaria
A Saudi Arabian contractor may build a Bulgarian gas pipeline [representational image].
Published: 31 March 2019 - 10 a.m.

Saudi Arabia's Arkad Engineering and Construction, alongside its Milan-based joint venture with Swiss-Swedish ABB, has offered the lowest bid to build a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas across Bulgaria, network operator Bulgartransgaz said, according to a Reuters report.

The Saudi-led group offered to construct the pipeline by the end of 2020 for $1.2bn (SAR4.5bn). Its alternative bid to build the pipeline in eight months stood at $1.4bn (SAR5.3bn), according to Bulgartransgaz data cited by Reuters.

According to the report, the Balkan-country will build the 474km long pipeline from its southern border near Turkey to its western border around Serbia. The project is aimed at securing a link to the Russia-backed TurkStream twin pipeline network.

Commenting on the three bids, Vladimir Malinov, chief executive officer of Bulgartransgaz, reportedly said the organisation would imminently make a decision, adding that the Saudi consortium's bid was close to its own cost estimates.

Bulgartransgaz plans to provide an advance payment of $280.8m to the winner and make installments for the remaining costs under a 10-year payment plan.

On 7 March, 2018, a Reuters report had stated that three groups including companies from Hungary, Italy, and Saudi Arabia had submitted bids for the $1.6bn pipeline.

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