The story of infrastructure delays is as old as, well, infrastructure. It’s always the same, though the actors change: Contractor bids low, runs out of money, doesn’t pay subbies. Subbies go on strike. Contractor (Covec) demands more money, state investor (GDDKiA) tells Covec to take a hike, holds new tender for new GC.
Thus was it always with infrastructure projects, and so will it be in the case of the A2 motorway in Poland. German football lovers were promised hassle-free driving for the Euro 2012. Now they’ll have to settle for stop-start autobahn and will have to hope the stadium stairs don’t collapse. (We’re not making this up, by the way: the National Stadium is also behind schedule because its stairs failed a construction inspection).
Two weeks till A2 restart
Last Poland’s General Directorate of Roads and Highways (GDDKiA) has canceled its contract with the Chinese contractor Covec for the construction of two portions of the A2 motorway. It’s now demanding the company pay fines of PLN 741m for breaching the PLN 1.3m contract covering 50km of the highway linking Stryków with Konotopa. While it’s sacked the Chinese, it will still have to wait 14 days in order to select a replacement, according to Puls Biznesu daily reports. It’s not known yet whether the contractor will be selected by tender or through negotiations.
Bankrupt Techmex’s asset on sale
Danuta Wieczorek, the receiver in charge of the Techmex bankrupty, expects the list of claims against the company to be finalized within a few days, reports Parkiet.com. One of the company’s more valuable asset is an office building in Bielsk. Most of the offices are currently leased, and the rental income is covering costs. Sale procedures are expected to begin soon.
Covec cancels A2 contract
The Chinese contractor building a 50 km stretch of the A2 motorway accompany has announced it’s cancelling its contract with the Polish General Directorate of Roads and Highways. Covec blamed delayed payments from the state and unexpected rises in the prices of construction materials. The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure is insisting Covec make all back payments to its subcontractors.
Sawa Wilanów flats on sale
Flats are going on sale at Sawa Wilanów, a complex of seven 4-storey apartments buildings that’s being developed by Sawa Apartments and BRE Property Partner. Just 110 units will be built in the first phase of the project, which will eventually offer 300 units ranging in size from 30 sqm to 150 sqm. Prices start at PLN 6,600 and go as high as PLN 8,400.
AFI Palace Cotroceni rental income falls
AFI Europe saw its rental income fall 8 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the same period last year. It collected just €5.8m in the first three months of the year compared with €6.2m last year. The company is gearing up to develop another shopping center on land it bought from Laromet in 2007. AFI Europe agreed to pay €78m in all for 156,000 sqm plot (€500 per sqm), but it apparently took threats of execution by the vendor before final payment was made.
UMB Spedition will build Radauti ring road for €82m
UMB Spedition is to build a 16 km ring road around the northern Romanian village of Radauti within 36 months. The builder, which is controlled by Dorinel Umbrarescu, signed the €82m contract for this key infrastructure project in Suceava with the Regional Direction president. The company will also be modernizing the road from Suceava to Botosani.
A2: The Chinese funding gap
Covec, the Chinese consortium working on the A2 motorway construction has begun making payments to striking subcontractors who had endangered the road’s timetable. The Chinese contractor claimed it had run into cost overruns, but the Polish state (via the GDDKiA) had been refusing to finance the gap. Covec won the tender in large part because of the price it bid in the tender.
Metro station construction permit granted
Warsaw’s governor Jacek Rostkowski has approved the construction permit the Świętokrzyska station of the new metro line. It’s a key step in the delayed project, as the station will be a transfer point with the existing metro line. The permit for the Dworzec Wileński station still awaits approval.
Echo sells Bełchatow scheme
Eleven years after its completion, Echo Investment had sold its shopping center located in Bełchatów, near Łódź. The company signed a PLN 44m contract for the 9,300 sqm retail development with a Cyprus-based company. Echo will continue to carry out facility management of the center.
Colas back to work with contract at Suceava
SC CF Iaşi-Grup Colas (part of the Bouygues group) has won a €6.1m
contract for work on the Suceava by-pass. It’s significant because the contract is the first it’s been awarded since being taken off the job building 20 km of highway between Medgidia-Cernavoda because of delays.
Cosmpolis offering family homes
Opus Land Development (part of the Buyukhanli group) is selling 8 2-storey family homes, each of which feature two 3-bedrooms. They’re part of the Cosmopolis project begin built in Stefanestii de Jos, a small town near Bucharest. The homes are expected to fetch around €90,000 each. Cosmopolis has enjoyed considerable success, as its first phase of 586 flats and its second phase of just 48 units have all been sold. Another 125 are to be completed by the end of the year.
With the collapsed tunnel behind the Ministry of Culture now filled with concrete, the blame game has officially kicked off. Channeling the perceived outrage of the populace, Mayor Bem has rather wittily suggested firing the contractor Metrostav since it’s creating holes instead of tunnels. But with half of Prague’s population in, on the way, or on the way back from Croatia, it’s unclear if he’ll win any points for this unexpected show of snide backbone.
More amusing, however, was Euro’s discovery that the parking lot that the new hole replaced was constructed without a building permit, and that standing water from the parking lot may have played a role in the collapse (it rained hard that night). We can’t wait to find out who built the parking lot, whether there was a tender, who did the design work, etc. etc. Our sources tell us there used to be a tennis court there, but they paved it over to make room for cars. This story should run and run.