Skanska’s cartel ban hands Vinci $347m Slovakia motorway

A consortium led by Vinci’s Eurovia subsidiary has won a $347m contract to build a section of the D3 motorway in northern Slovakia. Eurovia will undertake 48% of the work, its sister company SMP CZ will take 12%, and German contractor Hochtief will handle the remaining 40%. 

The firms won the work after the previous frontrunner, Skanska, was found to have been involved in a cartel with five other firms. Skanska had offered to build the 4.2km section of the 65km motorway for only $260m. 

In April, a nine-year long investigation by Slovakia’s competition authorities resulted in the exclusion of four companies from bidding for future deals. Besides Skanska, the ban affected Austria’s Strabag, as well as two local companies. 

The decision was a particular blow to Skanska, as it had been the frontrunner for two other road construction contracts that, together with the D3 job, were worth a total of $850m. 

The road will link Strazov and Brodno near the border with the Czech Republic, and bypass the city of Zilina. The project includes the construction of a 2.2km tunnel and three bridges, one of which is a 1.4km viaduct across the Hricovska dam.

The contract also covers a large number of ancillary works, including the restoration of the secondary road networks, a variety of drainage works and the installation of emergency call boxes and video surveillance systems.  Around 500 people will be working on the project for a period of three years.  

To protect the environment, the project provides for optimum blending into the landscapes through which it runs and re-planting of vegetation, including 60,000 bushes and 13,500 trees, along the edges of the infrastructure.  

Vinci have recently been involved in lucrative projects in Cairo and Chile.

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