Bulgaria’s Government approved on October 10 the proposal put forth by Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov to cancel the tender proceedings for the concession of Plovdiv Airport.
Called in 2016, the tender drew two bidders and the Cabinet picked a consortium that included a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group as the winner, but it later said that it was unable to sign a concession contract, the Government media service said.
According to the Concessions Act version at the time that the tender was called – the law has been overhauled since then to include new EU requirements concerning concessions – it is up to the Government to decide whether to offer a contract to the second-paced bidder.
There was a major discrepancy in the financial offers made by the two bidders – a total of 79 million euro in investment and an annual fee of 600 000 leva by the HNA Group consortium, compared to 65.5 million euro and 120 000 leva in annual fees by a consortium of Bulgarian companies, the Cabinet statement said.
“It is thus economically and legally justified to hold the tender proceedings for the concession on Plovdiv Airport under the terms of the amended Concessions Act,” the statement said, but gave no further details about when a new tender might be called.