TIRANA (Albania), August 7 (SeeNews) - Albania has picked U.S. Bechtel to build a motorway stretch in the north of the country estimated to cost up to $250 million (194.2 million euro), which is part of a transport link to the neighbouring U.N. run province of Kosovo, the Albanian Transport Ministry said on Monday.
"The tender commission recommended to the ministry to start negotiations with Bechtel as the most qualified company. We will decide on the format of the negotiations today (Monday)," the ministry's spokesman Gerti Bogdani told SeeNews.
Bechtel outbid Austrian builder Strabag, Kuwaiti group Al-Kharafi and Croatia's Konstruktor in the international tender that was closed last week.
Strabag placed the second best bid, according to the tender commission.
Bechtel will build a 55-kilometre four-lane highway between Rreshen and Kalimash, divided into three separate stretches, a five-kilometre tunnel and viaducts. The technical projects for each of the three separate sections should be ready in December, March and April respectively, the transport ministry has said earlier.
The construction project is estimated to cost between $200 million and $250 million and to be financed by foreign donors to Albania, the ministry has said.
The Rreshen-Kalimash stretch is part of a key transport corridor between Albania's largest Adriatic port Durres and the administrative centre of neighbouring Kosovo, Pristina.
The project for the Albanian part of the Durres-Pristina motorway envisages construction of 111 kilometres of new roads and repair of 59 kilometres of existing roads. The road construction projects have a total estimated value of 400 million euro and will be financed mainly by foreign donors.
Bechtel ( www.bechtel.com ) is a privately-owned global engineering, construction and project management company. It is headquartered in San Francisco and operates through 40 offices around the world and 40,000 employees. Bechtel reported $18.1 billion in revenue last year and new orders valued at $18.5 billion.