STA, 21 January 2019 - Fraport Slovenija, the operator of the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, has decided to cancel talks with the selected bidders for the construction of a new terminal and repeat the tender. The decision comes after the National Review Commission introduced a new practice in the tender for the construction of the second Karavanke tunnel tube.
According to the decision, published on the e-Naročanje public procurement portal on Monday, it follows from the decision of the review commission in the Karavanke tunnel case that bids cannot be amended following the deadline for applications.
The new practice was introduced after the deadline for bids for the construction of the new terminal at the airport passed and could not be factored in in Fraport's call for applications.
The company has established that the call's documents were unclear in terms of the new practice, which is why it has decided to reject all bids and repeat the tender after the expiry of the eight-day period for potential requests for legal recourse.
Under the new tender, Fraport will negotiate with all applicants whose bids will meet the tender criteria and not only the best three, to increase competition. The company will only negotiate the price and not the substance of the contract, because this will ensure the best possible transparency.
The company received six applications in the first tender. A solo bid was submitted by Austrian Strabag, while joint bids were filed by Slovenia's GIC Gradnje and Elcom, Croatian GP Krk and Slovenian CBE, Slovenian Kolektor Koling and CGP, Slovenia's Pomgrad and Gorenjska Gradbena Družba, and Slovenia's VG5 and Remont.
It is unclear for how long the repeated tender will delay the construction, which, according to Zmago Skobir, the head of Fraport Slovenija, was set to begin this year.
He said at the end of last year, when Fraport decided to enter talks with three bidders, that he expected talks to be concluded by the end of spring and the construction to be completed by the end of 2020.
Fraport later said that the decision to repeat the tender would likely delay the start of the construction by two to three months, whereas insisting with the cancelled tender could cause significantly longer delays.
The terminal, valued at around EUR 20m, was scheduled to open before the summer season in 2021, just before Slovenia is to take over the EU presidency. This is still the goal, said Fraport.
At 10,000 m2, the terminal will house departures and security check facilities, which are currently cramped in a space that cannot be expanded. Additional retail and restaurant facilities are planned as well.