Croatian Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic told reporters on Friday that Chinese bidders are welcome for a major road construction project in Rijeka, local daily newspaper Novi list reported.
"If Chinese companies have the best offer, they would be selected," Butkovic told reporters in Crikvenica, a coastal town in northern Adriatic. He said that a tender for the project will be announced soon and that it will be open to all companies.
The future road will connect a western part of the Rijeka port and the container terminal with the city's bypass road. It should be one of the most important infrastructure projects in Rijeka, Croatia's biggest port in northern Adriatic.
The Minister said the experience with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) in Croatia is good so far. CRBC is currently building the biggest infrastructure project in the country, Peljesac Bridge, which will connect the southern Peljesac peninsula to the mainland.
Croatian media reported on Wednesday that the project might not be finished on time because the contractor of the access roads to the bridge is yet to be chosen.
The minister told reporters that the state-owned Hrvatske Ceste (HC) road construction and management company was not surprised by the appeal against the tender for the construction of access roads to the future Peljesac Bridge. He stressed that the appeal should not jeopardize the project or slow it down.
"Within 30 days, Hrvatske Ceste will respond to this appeal and the state commission should quickly adopt a solution because it is an EU-funded project," explained Butkovic.
He said that the construction of the Peljesac Bridge and access roads must be completed within the deadline. Otherwise, EU funding would be questioned.
"We are not late and it is not important to complete the construction of the bridge and the roads on the same day," Butkovic said.