This is the first strategic pipeline to be successfully implemented throughout the Bulgarian territory following the failed Nabucco and South Stream projects. It is a key project for the extension of the Bulgarian gas transmission network and for the inter-connectivity of the region.
In a crucial extension of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, Bulgartransgaz, the Bulgarian transmission systems operator, launched a call for tender for a EUR 1.1bn procurement deal, which completed in September 2019. The successful bidding consortium included CMS client Arkad / Completions Development SARL. TurkStream begins at the Russkaya compressor station near Apana in Russia and crosses the Black Sea into Turkey. It will now progress through Bulgaria into Serbia, Hungary and Austria.
Believed to be the largest Bulgarian public procurement project to date, the extended 474km Balkan Stream pipeline runs from Bulgaria’s southern border with Turkey to its western frontier with Serbia. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
“This is the first strategic pipeline to be successfully implemented throughout the Bulgarian territory following the failed Nabucco and South Stream projects. It is a key project for the extension of the Bulgarian gas transmission network and for the interconnectivity of the region,” commented Kostadin Sirleshtov, Managing Partner at CMS Sofia and Head of Energy & Climate Change for CEE (Central and Eastern Europe).
A CMS team with lawyers from Bulgaria, Russia and Italy worked on the project for some ten months prior to the successful signing, which included assistance on the public procurement process initiated by Bulgartransgaz.
This involved negotiations over the public procurement and consortium agreements, appeal procedures before the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court, as well as participation in the successful out-of-court settlement with the other bidder.
A wide range of CMS experts from the Energy, Projects and Construction, Litigation, Arbitration, Insurance, Employment, Real Estate, Finance and Corporate / Tax groups provided support in this matter. Currently, CMS is engaged with the provision of legal services during the implementation stage of the project, which includes a secondment of a senior lawyer with the client.
“In my opinion, CMS played a key role in making sure that all the legal obstacles to the tender, the related appeals and the implementation of the project were successfully overcome,” said Kostadin Sirleshtov.
“Our gas pipeline and public procurement experience, global reach and dedicated team made the difference. We received high appreciation from the client, which makes us proud and determined to assist in the successful completion of the construction stage."