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Thessaloniki Metro: Extension request by the contractor until March 2025 “if no solution is reached”

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Σήραγγα Μετρό με ράγες

A surprising announcement regarding an extension request -until March 2025- has been made by the construction consortium (AIASA) for the never-ending project of Thessaloniki Metro.

As the Chairman of Attiko Metro, Mr. Nikos Tachiaos revealed while speaking at a conference in Thessaloniki, the contractor has submitted a request to Attiko Metro for an extension of the overall project deadline until March 2025 (and more particularly by 1,567 calendar days), provided that the project proceeds at the current pace.

It is reminded that the solution that has been chosen is the preservation of the antiquities. For his part, Mr. Tachiaos assured that Thessaloniki will have a completed Main Line with an operational Venizelou Station by April 2023.

He also noted that “it is wrong to blame the removal and repositioning of the antiquities from Venizelos Station as this process will ensure their integrity, instead of remaining in situ during the construction.

What does the consortium say?

For its part, the consortium, according to reports, says that the operation the Thessaloniki Metro Main Line is feasible in April 2023, under conditions.

It also claims that even thought it managed to resolve the issues that had come up at Aghia Sofia Station, this was not the case with Venizelos Station, where a substantial solution has not been given yet.

Indeed, while noting that when SYRIZA was in power, Thessaloniki Metro unblocked and proceeded rapidly and efficiently for at least 3 years, in any case, it wouldn’t be possible for it to be ready before April 2022, even without Venizelos Station.

At this point, it is also reminded that a few days ago the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, pointed out in the Parliament that “if we don’t go to the solution of the antiquities’ removal, we risk missing the deadlines and then the country will be in danger of losing funds”, stressing that “The government wants both Metro and anttiquities”.

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Egnatia Odos ready to launch contactless payments mobile app

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Τμήμα της Εγνατίας Οδού με σήραγγες

Egnatia Odos is introducing a new upgraded contactless payment service. In collaboration with one of the world’s most prominent road service companies, the Canadian IBI Group, drivers will be able to use the new Egnatia Pay App using a QR code, without the need to come into physical contact with the toll stations’ employees.

Egnatia Pay Mobile App is an application that responds to modern customer services standards. The operation is easy: drivers approaching the toll station is directed to a payment lane. There, they display the QR Code on their mobile phones, the toll fee will be deducted allowing them to continue their journey.

How it works for toll stations and subscribers

Once installed on the toll stations, Egnatia Pay App will be available for Android and iPhone devices. From there, anyone who wants to download it for free can register and start using it.

It will be valid for those who are already subscribers and have been supplied with Egnatia cards and in the future for those who choose Egnatia pass transceivers, as it will be connected to the wireless device (the device is available by Egnatia Odos SA). It is worth noting that the application will integrate all discount policies given to Egnatia card holders and e-pass transceivers.

The application is expected to be launched in the summer 2020 and will significantly benefit both local communities along the motorway axis and frequent users.

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AKTOR-TEKAL consortium withdraws from major port project in Thessaloniki

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ΟΛΘ Λιμάνι Θεσσαλονίκης Γερανογέφυρες

The first withdrawal has been confirmed for the tender process of the largest port project in the Mediterranean, which with 170m euros will complete the 6th Pier of OLTH (i.e. Thessaloniki Port).

According to sources close to the tender, J/V AKTOR-TEKAL withdrew its participation due to “internal issues”. So far (and if we don’t see another withdrawal) the consortia that remain in the competition are:

J/V EIFFAGE-ΤΕΡΝΑ, J/V MYTILINEOS-ROVER MARITIME SL- CH. KONSTANTINIDIS, J/V INTRAKAT-VITTADELLO, ARCHIRODON, J/V AVAX-ΕΤΕRMAR-NV BESIX, ACCIONA CONSTRUCCION

The entries of foreign companies in the project come from Eiffage (France), Vittadello (Italy), Besix (Belgium), Etermar (Portugal) and Acciona (Spain).

A particularly interesting element of the tender, according to a source close to the case, is that up to 6 participants can pass to the second phase. This means that at least one of the above impressive contenders could leave the ‘battle’ prematurely.

The completion of the evaluation of the first stage is expected to take place by next week. Then, OLTH SA is expected to forward to the pre-selected companies the call for submission of binding offers, regarding their participation in the second stage of the tender procedure.

This project is the most important among the mandatory investments undertaken by OLTH SA, according to the Concession Agreement with the Greek State.

A consortium comprised by SALFO-AECOM-SAMARAS & ASSOCIATES is the independent engineer of the project while the project manager is Hill International, with Rogan & Associates in the role of the designer.

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New obstacles for Athens Metro Line 4 tender as both contenders’ appeals are sustained

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Μετρό Γραμμή 4

A major reversal for the development of Athens Metro Line 4 tender, seems to have happened yesterday.

According to sources of ypodomes.com and the first available information, the two appeals previously filed by the two finalists to the Council of State, were both sustained.

It is reminded that the two contenders are J/V AKTOR-ANSALDOBREDA-HITACHI and J/V AVAX-GHELLA-ALSTOM.

The first interpretation given is that the Council of State, having heard the arguments of both participants, essentially decided to reject the evaluations by the tender committee.

As a result, scenarios are beginning to emerge about the fate of the tender itself, that could lead even to the cancellation of the project while others talk about a decision that needs a deeper consideration.

Nevertheless, it is certain that we are at a crossroads for the sole large-scale project of the country, with a budget of 1.8bn euros that promises to revive the construction market.

According to preliminary estimates, what will be done here is to lose some more time. Sources close to the tender point out that we should remain cautious with this subject, before we say anything.

Three scenarios

However, always according to the same sources, depending on what the decision will be, we are in front of three basic scenarios. The first is to return the tender back to the evaluation stage by the competition committee while the second scenario is the cancellation of the tender altogether.

The first two scenarios are linked as either both contenders could survive or one of them, allowing the tender to go on. In the second scenario, both can be rejected resulting to the whole structure of the tender to collapse.

The third scenario is -even if the appeals have been accepted- for the tender to proceed (it is something we have seen in the past). Out of these three scenarios, the weakest one appears to be the third.

In any case, the tender enters into new adventures and a doubtful future. There are voices suggesting that it needs to stay alive and be completed because 2 years will be lost for a project that has been expected for a long time by the market.

On the other hand, there are other voices that point out that with the tender regarding the precursory being stagnant, perhaps a new tender would give a new impetus to the project.

What is currently being recommended is a careful reading of the Council of State’s decision rationale and the consequent compliance of Attiko Metro.

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