Turkish consortium withdraws from Vlora airport construction project

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 23, 2019 15:48

Turkish consortium withdraws from Vlora airport construction project

Story Highlights

  • Two weeks ago, in April, The European Commission announced in a letter-response to the MEP Paul Rübig of the European People’s Party that it will conduct a general evaluation of publicly-debated, Rama government procurement and those with respect to the construction of the Vlora airport, the Air Albania airline and the new NT project.

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TIRANA, April 23 – The Turkish consortium of companies Cengis Construcion, Kalyon Construction and Kolin Construction withdrew from the concession that was to build the new Vlora airport, while the ministry of infrastructure announced on Tuesday an international competition to select a new company.

“Regarding Vlora Airport. The deadline for the Vlora International Airport concession has expired since September 2018. We officially confirm that there will be an international competition for the “Vlora International Airport” because the interest is huge by investors. And this process will meet all legal requirements and elements of transparency,” the infrastructure ministry announced.

On Jan. 17 of this year, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced that he had received an “official offer” for the construction of an airport near Vlora by the Turkish consortium. The request came before the feasibility survey was published and after Rama’s own visit to Turkey, during which he announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would “assist” with the establishment of an Albanian airline.

According to Rama, work on the new airport would begin in June 2018.

Following the announcement, the government drafted a special law for this concession which allowed direct negotiation between the government and the Turkish consortium, without implementing the public procurement law.

The same legal code was adapted for the new National Theatre construction project of of the New Theatre, by the company Fusha shpk.

Two weeks ago, in April, The European Commission announced in a letter-response to the MEP Paul Rübig of the European People’s Party that it will conduct a general evaluation of publicly-debated, Rama government procurements and those with respect to the construction of the Vlora airport, the Air Albania airline and the new NT project.

The answer was given by the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn on behalf of the European Commission, when Rübig raised the question as to what the EC thinks about the concerns raised by the media that Air Albania was created as a public-private partnership outside of the procurement rules and the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), which obliges Albania to open public procurements and establish equal terms for European companies and non-European or Albanian companies.

Meanwhile, all three consortium companies, Cengiz Construction, Kalyon Construction and Kolin Construction, have close ties to the Erdoğan regime.

They have previously acquired millions of euros in projects in Turkey in the energy and construction sector and are currently involved in the construction of Istanbul’s third airport.

The Istanbul municipality is thought to have been the main financier of most of Erdogan’s major projects inside and outside Turkey, but now that Istanbul was won by the opposition, it seems that Erdogan’s funding source is closed.

With Erdogan’s electoral defeat, Turkish companies are no longer a viable option for Albania.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 23, 2019 15:48