Croatian electric train (Photo: Toma Bacic)

CROATIA: HŽ Infrastruktura has selected Strabag as preferred bidder for a contract for infrastructure and station enhancements and double-tracking on the 44 km Hrvatski Leskovac – Karlovac line, after a rejecting a lower-priced bid.

Strabag’s offer was valued at 1·71bn kuna excluding VAT, and was ranked second after a 1·29bn kuna offer from China Railway Eryuan Engineering. After opening the bids on April 19 2021, HŽ Infrastruktura asked the Chinese firm to explain the unexpectedly low price, and following analysis it was rejected as a dumping price.

Construction prices have risen significantly since 2021, and the infrastructure manager expects that the cost will be around 15% higher than originally planned. Completion is scheduled within 30 months.

Meanwhile, on January 14 a consortium of Končar KET and Alstom Ferroviaria was selected for a 289·8m kuna contract to supply signalling for the project.

The European Commission is providing 85% of the funding for the 3·45bn kuna route modernisation, under a co-financing agreement signed in December 2019.