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Serbia May Replace Alpine as Highway, Rail Bridge Contractor

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June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Koridori Srbije, Serbia’s state-run road development company, may replace a local unit of Alpine Bau GmbH as the highway contractor after the Austrian builder filed for insolvency.

Alpine is making parts of the Balkan nation’s north-south highway, with an eastern offshoot to Bulgaria, worth a combined 59.3 million euros ($78.4 million). Koridori may call new tenders complete the sections if Alpine confirms it can’t carry on, Belgrade-based company said in an e-mailed statement. The stretches with bridges and tunnels near the southeastern town of Dimitrovgrad are financed by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Alpine, owned by Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA, also signed a 9 million-euro contract with Serbia’s national rail company Zeleznice Srbije in 2010 to build a rail bridge by August 2012.

The structure is only 20 percent complete, even after Zeleznice paid the full amount from a European Investment Bank loan, and the company is now “reviewing options how to proceed” with the project, said Nenad Stanisavljevic, Zeleznice’s spokesman in a phone interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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