Saudi-led Arkad-ABB as well as an international consortium comprising Bonatti, Max Streicher and TNK are vying for final selection in Bulgartransgaz's 474-km natural gas pipeline project which would link Bulgaria to Turkey on its southern border and with Serbia on its western border. A third group led by MOL in Hungary did not meet the project requirements and will no longer be considered.
The Saudi-led group has submitted the lowest bid for the project: $1.23 billion by the end of 2020; $1.44 billion for construction within 8 months. Conversely, the international consortium offered to build the gas link for 2.4 billion euros by the year-end, or for 1.69 billion euros by the end of 2020.
Bulgartransgaz Chief Executive Officer, Vladimir Malinov, said "we will look carefully into the offers and will come up with a decision early next week," adding that the lowest offer was within its estimated cost.
Russia, which is building TurkStream to bypass Ukraine, has said it would need guarantees from the European Union that Brussels would not oppose extending one of the legs of the 15.75 billion cubic metre pipeline via Bulgaria.