Strabag/ED Zublin wins tender for construction at Romania’s ELI nuclear physics research center

Strabag Group has won a contract for construction work on the new Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) nuclear physics research facility to be sited in Magurele, near Bucharest. In partnership with its subsidiary ED Zublin, headquartered in Germany, the international engineering group won the tender with an offer of just under EUR 65.5 million, at the current exchange rate.

Romania’s Horia Hulubei National Research Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering named the bid winner on April 17, according to local news organization Ziarul Financiar. «There is a statutory consultation period, which ends on April 29, after which date and following the settlement of any disputes that arise, the contract will be signed», – said Nicolae Zamfir, general manager of the Horia Hulubei Research Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, quoted by ZF.

Two other facilities are being built in Hungary and the Czech Republic, with the whole program is receiving financial backing via EU Structural Funds. The Romanian site will focus on laser based nuclear physics, according to the ELI project organizers, «for this purpose, an intense gamma-ray source is foreseen by coupling a high-energy particle accelerator to a high-power laser».

The tender for construction work attracted interest from a number of other companies, including local firms Comnord and Bog’Art, as well as foreign companies Astaldi, Hochtief and Bouygues, according to ZF.

The total costs of the Romanian ELI-NP facility is estimated at slightly over EUR 356.2 million, with EU funds covering 83 percent of the amount and the remainder supplied by the Romanian state. Funding will be granted in a number of phases over the coming years.

At this stage, basic construction work at the Magurele facility is scheduled for completion in 2014. Next will come the installation of equipment, such as the highly specialized lasers, after which the ELI-NP research center should be operational by 2017.

ELI is a European Project, involving nearly 40 research and academic institutions from 13 EU Member Countries, forming a pan-European facility, that aims to host the most intense lasers in the world.

The facility, based on four sites, has obtained a financial commitment exceeding EUR 700 million. The EC has funded the first ELI-pillar, in the Czech Republic, with a budget of just under EUR 290 million.

Strabag Group has been the majority shareholder of ED Zublin since 2005. The group’s international activities include transportation infrastructure projects, such as roads, railways and airports. Also in the portfolio is building construction, from turnkey projects to industrial facilities. The group’s operations in civil engineering include bridges, dams, LNG Tanks as well as tunnels, ground engineering and harbor facilities.

Adapted from Romania-Insider