The Serbian Ministry of Capital Investments announced that negotiations on the contract to build the Horgos-Pozega Highway are underway.

According to the Ministry of Capital Investments, representatives of the first-ranking bidder in the tender, the consortium of the Spanish FCC and Austrian Alpine Mayreder, have told Minister Velimir Ilic that they are prepared to sign the contract for awarding the concession.

According to Ilic, the Spanish company merely wants the contract to be in line with similar contracts in Europe, so that the banks could support the project. Ilic stated that a legal solution is currently sought for achieving this without overstepping the Serbian legal framework and added that the contract could be signed toward the end of next week.

Ilic pointed out that one of the requests made by FCC was that the highway only be constructed until Ljig, which was unacceptable to the Serbian Government and would completely change the terms of the tender, but that FCC had given up on that.

The consortium comprising the Austrian Alpine Mayreder and the Spanish FCC won the tender to award the concession on the construction of Horgos-Pozega Highway in early November 2006, having bid the lowest price of EUR 1.5 billion.

The concession is being awarded for a period of 25 years and it envisages for the construction of the left lane of the highway from Horgos to Novi Sad, totalling 106 kilometres in length, the maintenance of the 68-kilometre stretch of the highway from Novi Sad to Belgrade and the designing and the construction of the highway from Belgrade to Pozega, totalling 148 kilometres in length.

The contract was supposed to be signed before the parliamentary elections in Serbia, but was postponed because the Spanish company asked for additional consultations.

Ilic announced earlier that if a contract is not signed with the first-ranking bidder, the job would then be offered to the second-ranking bidder – the consortium PORR.