After trams, Belgrade looking at 150 Turkish buses too – Articulated BMC EUR 16 million more expensive in total than three years ago

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 25.06.2024. 14:09
Illustration (Photo: Dejan Aleksić)Illustration
One bid was sent in response to the tender of GSP Beograd for the procurement of 100 articulated buses, the same as for the purchase of 50 solo vehicles, and as can be seen based on the records of the opening of the bids that eKapija has had an insight into, both bids pertain to Turkish bus manufacturers.

The Turkish BMC, M. P. N. promet d.o.o. Beograd and Erste leasing d.o.o. Beograd submitted the only bid for 100 articulated buses, at a price of EUR 48.1 million without the VAT, that is, EUR 57.7 million with the VAT. That is EUR 16 million more compared to the offer for BMC buses that was submitted slightly under three years ago (also for the purchase of 100 articulated buses) at the tender which was soon awarded for the delivery of these vehicles.

As for the procurement of 50 single buses, the only bid was submitted by Buses and Coaches d.o.o. Beograd (the general distributor of the Turkish Otokar buses), OTP leasing Srbija d.o.o. Beograd and AIK leasing d.o.o. Beograd. For 50 single vehicles, their offered price is EUR 19.25 million without the VAT, that is, EUR 23.1 million with the VAT.

That means that, if these offers are officially accepted, the people of Belgrade will pay EUR 577,000 per articulated vehicle and around EUR 462,000 per single vehicle.

The deadline for the delivery of the first lot of the articulated vehicles is 120 days, and for the single vehicles it is 250 days.

As the experts from GSP Beograd that we talked to say officially for eKapija, if, as they expect, contracts are signed with the bidders for the articulated and single vehicles, they are not too glad about the new batch of 100 BMC articulated buses. As they point out, these vehicles haven’t proven to be too good. As for the procurement for the single vehicles, the situation is somewhat different. As they note, if it’s Turkish buses that have to be bought, it’s good that these will be Otokar vehicles, because, as the experts from GSP clarified for us, those are the best buses when it comes to Turkish manufacturers of those vehicles.

– In that class, Otokar has the best quality, that is, those are the best buses that the Turkish manufacturers can offer us – point out the experts that we talked to.

The tender for the purchase of 100 low-floor articulated buses and 50 low-floor single buses powered by gas, through financial leasing, for a period of six years, was opened by GSP in mid-May. Soon after the opening of the tender, as in the case of the procurement of trams, some experts expressed the suspicion that bids for Turkish vehicles would be submitted at the tender.

Today, soon after the opening of the bids for the procurement of these buses, Nikola Jovanovic, the director of the Center for Local Self-Government, reacted and pointed out that the offered prices for both the single and the articulated vehicles were inappropriately high and difficult to explain.

– These same articulated BMC buses cost Belgrade EUR 410,000 per bus in 2021, so it’s not clear how their price “increased” so much. The fact that the Turkish factories are the only bidders at the tender and that the prices are unusually high speaks in favor of the theory that it’s another extremely bad tender for the public transport system and GSP Beograd, with potential elements of serious corruption – estimated Jovanovic.

There’s a chance of the bids being rejected

There is, however, a real possibility of the submitted bids for the 100 articulated and 50 single buses being rejected because they exceed the estimated value of the procurement. As can be seen from the records, the estimated value for the 100 articulated buses is RSD 5,600,600,000 without the VAT, so if the offer for articulated vehicles is multiplied by the euro exchange rate, it would mean that the submitted bid is higher than the estimated one be around RSD 31 million. When it comes to the offer for the single vehicles, it exceeds the estimated value of 2,029,000,000 by around RSD 222 million, as confirmed by the experts we talked to.

D. A.

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