Saudi's Arkad dropped by Bulgaria to build 474km gas pipeline

A consortium led by Italian energy contractor Bonatti will reportedly build the expansion carrrying Russian gas for $1.2bn

Arkad will no longer work on the Bulgarian pipeline.
Arkad will no longer work on the Bulgarian pipeline.

An Arkad Engineering-led consortium has reportedly been dropped by Bulgaria’s state network operator Bulgartransgaz weeks after it was picked to build a pipeline carrying Russian national gas, with a consortium of Italian energy contractor Bonatti – which also includes German construction firm Max Streicher and a Luxembourg-based unit of Russia’s TMK – selected for construction after the Arkad-led group failed to “present the necessary documents upon a deadline to seal the deal”.

According to a report by Reuters, Bulgartransgaz requires the project to complete by end-2020, and contracting work worth $1.2bn will be implemented by the Bonatti consortium, which also revised its initial bid.

At the time of Arkad's selection in April 2019, it was announced that it had beat out entities such as the DZZD Consortium Gas Development and Expansion in Bulgaria, which is made up of Italy's Consorzio Varna 1 and the Bulgarian branch of Luxembourg-registered Completions Development Association, to win the contract.

The Balkan-country is looking to build the 474km long pipeline from its southern border near Turkey to its western border around Serbia to secure a link to the Russia-backed TurkStream twin pipeline network.

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