Acciona bids for project to widen railway link to Slovenia’s deepwater port

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish renewables and infrastructure firm Acciona ANA.MC has launched a joint bid for a hotly contested 1.2 billion euro ($1.33 billion) project to widen a key Slovenian railway link to its only deepwater port, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Acciona has teamed up with Italian counterpart Pizzarotti and Slovenian construction company Makro 5 Gradnje to put forward the proposal.

“We are still at the early stages of the bidding process, and it’s a big project, which has received 29 other bids,” said Alberte Gonzalez Patino, Acciona’s communications director.

The project aims to build a second track on the 27-km-long (17-mile) railway linking the port of Koper to the town of Divaca, improving the port’s connection to the wider European railway network and increasing freight capacity and volumes.

The government-funded infrastructure project will be one of the largest undertaken in Slovenia since an economic crisis in 2013.

The existing single track line between Divaca and Koper passes through rocky uneven terrain and introduces a bottleneck on two busy European rail corridors, Slovenia’s infrastructure agency said in publicly-available documents.

“We will define which parts of the tender go to Acciona, which to Pizzarotti, and which to Makro 5 over the next three months,” said Peter Smekar, commercial director for Makro 5 Gradnje. “We don’t know what kind of works the project will involve yet - tunnels, galleries.”

Acciona’s shares were up 0.6% in early afternoon trade in Madrid, outperforming the broader Spanish market which was in the red.

Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip, Kirsten Donovan