Millennium Challenge Account launches contest for restoration of three Moldovan irrigation systems

The Moldova Millennium Challenge Account launched an international contest for the restoration of three irrigation systems on the Prut river, namely, Leova Sud (Leova district), Blindesti (Ungheni district) and Grozesti (Nisporeni district), included in the Compact programme.

The above-mentioned irrigation systems were put into operation in the '70 and '90, respectively, and are in disrepair. The head of the Moldova Millenium Challenge Account, Valentina Badrajan, said in a news conference held with the occasion of the contest's launching that only the irrigation system from the village of Grozesti were still operational and irrigated about 100 hectares of farmland. Badrajan added that, after the rehabilitation of those three irrigation systems, they would have the capacity to irrigate more than 2,667 hectares and would enable the further expansion up to 4,000 hectares.

Over 1,350 farmers will benefit from up-to-date irrigation systems. The deadline for submission of bids for rehabilitation is 30 September 2013. The construction companies, willing to participate in the contest, will have 60 days to make the necessary assessments and to present the set of documents, Badrajan said. If compared to previous contests, the three irrigation systems have been included in a single lot. Thus, one single company will carry out their restoration.

The manager of the project „Transition to high value agriculture”, Sergiu Iuncu, presented the technical data about the works which are to be carried out during the restoration of those three irrigation systems. He specified that 1,044 hectares would be irrigated in Blindesti , 1,100 hectares in Grozesti and other 980 hectares in Leova 980, with the opportunity of extending the area. According to the designs of the irrigation systems selected for rehabilitation, the electro-mechanical equipment will be replaced with a more efficient and modern equipment, new electronic pumps control equipment will be installed, the water supply network will be replaced with high density polyethylene pipes, all the hydrants will be also replaced and mobile meters will be installed to determine the amount of the used water.

Badrajan said that the project's costs were confidential for the moment. However, she added that, within the tender that was under assessment, the lots' total cost varied between 10,5 and 21,7 million dollars, depending on the volume of works that were to be carried out. Six construction companies from Romania, Portugal, Israel, Russia and France have presented their bids for the restoration of other four irrigation systems on the Dniester river, namely in the villages of: Jora de Jos from Orhei district, Cosnita from Dubasari district, Puhaceni and Roscani from Anenii Noi district. The deadline for the submission of bids for rehabilitation expired on 29 July 2013. Those four irrigation systems will be rebuilt and modernised after more than 30 years since their opening.

Badrajan also said that an agreement had been already signed with the Romanian company Hidroconstructia, which would rehabilitate the irrigation systems from Lopatna and Criuleni. The Romanian company has already registered in Chisinau and has got all authorisations, following to sign a working plan soon.

The restoration of the irrigation systems is one of the objectives of the Compact programme, which was signed, in early 2010, by the Moldovan government and the U.S. government, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Compact programme is implemented by the Moldova Millennium Challenge Account and has a total amount of 262 million dollars.

Adapted from Moldpres