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Astaldi, Salini Among 4 Bidders for Istanbul Bridge

Astaldi SpA, Salini Costruttori SpA of Italy were among four remaining bidders to build and operate a third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosporus strait. China Communications Construction Co.’s joint venture was eliminated, the government said.

Astaldi and Salini submitted bids for the 1,275 meter-bridge and 90 kilometers of roads to Turkey’s highways agency in Ankara, Ihsan Akbiyik, head of the auction committee, told reporters in the city today. They and the two other bidders will be invited back in May for an auction, he said.

Turkey is trying to sell the rights for the second time this year after receiving no bids in January. It since reduced the project’s size and passed a law giving state guarantees for the build-operate-transfer model, which Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said in January was valued at about $2.5 billion.

Mapa Insaat and a consortium of Cengiz Insaat, Kolin Insaat, Limak Holding, Makyol and Kalyon Insaat were the other companies that had initial bids accepted, Akbiyik said.

China Communications, which entered the process with Turkish builders Yapi Merkezi, Dogus Holding AS and Arkon, said it didn’t submit any bid in the auction. The group gave a letter to the auction committee saying “it wasn’t possible for the consortium to submit a bid,” it said in an e-mailed statement. Akbiyik said the group was eliminated because it didn’t provide the correct documents.

The committee will study the four remaining sets of bidding documents over the next seven to 10 days before inviting back the firms, Akbiyik said.

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