Prague – Three out of six candidates have advanced into the second round of one of the biggest tenders in Czech history – a commission worth some CZK 115 billion to clean up ecological damage.

Billionaire Petr Kellner’s company PPF (which created a consortium together with AVE CZ, Dekonta, ECOSOIL) is out of the competition, Finance Ministry spokesman Ondřej Jakob said Thursday.

“The ministry evaluated the applications of all candidates as part of the public tender for the removal of ecological damage. The ministry will give access to the dataroom to three applicants who have satisfied the conditions of the competition,” the ministry said. The companies are Geosan Group, Marius Pedersen Engineering, and Environmental services (formerly Karob).

“The decision of the Finance Ministry surprised us. We will carefully study the reason given by the ministry. Before we have a through expert and legal analysis, we will refrain from making any comments,” said PPF spokesman Alexej Bechtin.

Price to be the deciding factor
With access to the dataroom, the applicants will gain detailed information about all the locations and will be able to form an analysis, based on which they will need to give a price estimate within 120 days. The price will be the deciding factor.

In the first round, the candidates had to prove their ability to handle the commission by presenting references and documents, proving sufficient funds, personnel, technical equipment, financial guarantees and technical capacity.

The three applicants who did not satisfy the conditions to advance into the next round have a 15-day deadline to file a complaint against the decision. Aside from the PPF consortium, the partnership Deme Environmental Contractors and Dredging International, as well as the group PD-Gruppe – Stavoprogress, made up of P-D Industriegesellschaft and Stavoprogres Brno also didn’t advance.

The ministry said earlier that the commission aims to decrease the price of cleaning up the ecological damage created before 1992. If the ecological damage was to be removed using current practices, by giving out individual commissions, the ministry says the state would not be able to meet the 2015 deadline to repair the ecological damage.