Economy

Romanian government terminates motorway contract at 99% completion

The state-owned road infrastructure management company CNAIR has cancelled the contract for a section of the A1 motorway that connects Lugos/Lugoj with Déva/Deva, which is already 99% complete, the Pro Infrastructura Association reported on its Facebook page on Wednesday. The contract for the third segment of the A1 motorway connecting Marosillye/Ilia and Holgya/Holdea was won by a Spanish consortium Teloxim Con Srl. – Comsa Sa. – Aldesa Construcciones Sa. – Arcadis Eurometudes Sa.

Representatives of CNAIR performed a technical inspection of the aforementioned motorway segment on August 12 but refused to accept it, for quality reasons. The next day, Transport Minister Răzvan Cuc said they had delayed acceptance for ten days so the contractor could fix the problems, but also asked for an extension to the guarantee period of the motorway.

“For sixteen days since the 21 km segment of the motorway reached 99% completion, Minister of Transport Răzvan Cuc and representatives of CNAIR have been blackmailing the provider to extend the guarantee period of its work from four to ten years, but they haven’t considered even for a moment opening the motorway. This is like cancelling the agreement because of a missing lighting bulb after the contractor has built the house. This is unimaginable in the industry of infrastructure; probably we are talking about a world premiere,” the association writes in the Facebook post.

The contract for the Holgya/Holdea hub – won by the same consortium – wasn’t cancelled, however.

“As a result, the inauguration of the 21 km motorway segment has become uncertain. One thing is clear, though: the Romanian government will completely lose the four- year guarantee for the completed works, and we are looking ahead at many years of legal battles, which will result in tens of millions in damages, money paid to the contractor by us, tax-paying citizens,” the Pro Infrastructure Association notes.

The cancellation of the contract was confirmed by sources close to the Ministry of Transport. “They have decided to go with the cancellation. Minister Cuc and Sorin Scarlat, director of CNAIR, have negotiated with the contractor and have cancelled the contract,” the sources say.

Title image: part of the motorway segment completed at 99% by the contractor. Image source: Asociatia Pro Infrastructura’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete