Sep 28, 2020 - 09:40 pm

No tender love for Sofia

Stolichen Avtotransport, the public transport company of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, has cancelled a tender for the purchase of 52 new e-buses. Only one valid bid was submitted for each of the two lots tendered. This is the second cancellation Stolichen had to endure.

The company launched the first tender in September 2019 but had to stop it in January 2020 due to technical errors in the documentation. The reason for the second cancellation was a lack of serious interest in a tender worth the equivalent of €14.1 million.

Only one valid offer was submitted for each of the tender’s two lots – one envisaging the supply of 30 buses of 5.5 – 7.5 metres, and another for the supply of 22 buses of 7.6 – 9.6 metres in length, municipally-owned Stolichen Avtotransport said in a notice last week.

The valid bid came through a joint proposal by local company Bulavto and Turkey’s Karsan. Karsan only recently revealed an 8-metre e-bus model with BMW batteries from the i3. Then the only two other bidders were disqualified so that Stolichen had nothing left to compare the first bid with.

Sofia is not alone in their difficulties. Rome shared the pain. Local transit operator ATAC failed to procure hydrogen buses this May when not a single bid was submitted for a tender for five H2 buses published in February 2020. And this is not the first time: At the beginning of 2019, another hydrogen bus tender for Rome was equally unsuccessful.

In both cases, the reasons for the rejection remain obscure. None of the tenders asked for the impossible, and both had funding through the European Union. So perhaps it is a problem of public exposure or communication, maybe it is underfunding. Do reach out to the companies directly should you have just the offer in place. We are looking forward to hearing when round number three of the tender will open.


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Found on
28.09.2020 21:42