Only one bid has been received from a shortlist of six consortia for a contract to build the $1,000 million Izmit bay crossing on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, according to contracting sources. The tender was submitted by a venture of France’s Bouygues and the local Vinsan.

Six ventures have been shortlisted by the State Highways Directorate (KGM) for the project since March 1995 (MEED 24:3:95).

However, when the project finally came to tender, legal and political concerns deterred the other five consortia from bidding, according to contracting sources.

Protracted talks between party leaders in a hung parliament produced by the December general election have failed to produce a coalition government. Contracting concerns focus on what the eventual new government’s attitude will be towards BOT and privatisation.

In addition, the constitutional court ruled recently that BOT projects represent concessions and not commercial contracts.

Concession status for foreign partners in BOT ventures would have several drawbacks, including the exclusion of access to international arbitration in cases of contractual dispute (MEED 23:2:96).

The KGM now awaits a decision from higher authority on whether to proceed with negotiations with the Bouygues group, or to call a rebid, according to KGM officials. In the interim, the KGM will study the Frenchled group’s bid to determine whether it conforms with bid specifications.

The ambitious project aims to ease traffic congestion around the shores of the Bay of Izmit, a densely-populated and highlyindustrialised area, and also on highways to the northwest, industrial centre of Bursa.

Starting at Dilovasi on the northern shore of Izmit bay, about 50 kilometres of motorway will run to Orhangazi near Bursa.

The motorway will have two carriageways with three lanes each. Its centre piece is a bridge, or combination of bridges, with a total length of around 3.5 kilometres, across the bay itself. Consultant to the KGM is Canada’s Delcan with the local DAP.