Portugal launches international public tender for the design-build and operation of a desalination plant in the Algarve

Portugal - 

Águas do Algarve has launched a public tender for the design, construction and operation of the Seawater Desalination System in the Algarve region. The base price of the procedure is 90 million euros.

Contract Notice no. 2530/2024 was published in the Official Gazette on 16 February, determining the opening of the public tender with international advertising for the "Design, Construction and Operation of the Desalination System in the Algarve Region" Contract.

According to a statement published by Águas do Algarve, S.A., this is a "structural project for the region aimed at guaranteeing the resilience of the public water supply to the population of the Algarve, particularly during periods of prolonged drought, by increasing water availability".

The same source stated in addition that the "Algarve Seawater Desalination Plant is part of a range of investments that Águas do Algarve is carrying out as part of the Algarve Water Efficiency Plan, under the Recovery and Resilience Program (RRP), and which will allow, in accordance with the structural policy to combat drought in the region, to increase the region's water availability by more than 69 million m3/year".

1. What is the scope of the public tender?

The scope of the public tender is to carry out the contract for the "Design, Construction and Operation of the Desalination System in the Algarve Region".

As summarised in the respective contract notice, the scope includes, among other aspects:

  • The activities related to the preparation of all the written and drawn documents of the Execution Project of the "Works", including the detail drawings (assembly and construction) and all the related technical projects (civil construction, marine works, mechanical, electromechanical, electrical and instrumentation equipment, electrical installations, automation and supervision, architecture, the Health and Safety Plan (HSP), the Environmental Management Plan, the Construction and Demolition Waste Prevention and Management Plan, among others;
  • The preparation of the elements to be delivered at the stage of the Environmental Compliance Report for the Execution Project (RECAPE), as described in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Desalination System in the Algarve Region, and the implementation and observance of the measures contained in the EIS;
  • An operating phase for the Desalination System in the Algarve Region.

2. What are the applicable deadlines to the contract execution?

According to the tender specifications (TS), the contract execution period is 2210 (two thousand two hundred and ten) days, comprising the following periods:

  1. 90 (ninety) days for the preparation of the Execution Project, counted from the date of signature of the contract;
  2. 1025 (one thousand and twenty-five) days for the execution of the "Works", counted from the date of Consignment or the date of approval of the HSP, if this occurs later, until Provisional Acceptance; and
  3. 1095 (one thousand and ninety-five) days, for "Operation", from the date of Provisional Acceptance.

The TS also provides for other binding partial deadlines.

3. What are the tender documents?

The tender documents are the following:

  1. Contract Notice;
  2. Tender Regulation; and
  3. Tender Specifications.

4. What is the contract value?

The base price of the procedure is 90,000,000.00 (ninety million euros). It should also be noted that the TS determines that in addition to that basic price, the procedure is also subject, in the public works component for the "Design-Construction of the Desalination System in the Algarve Region", to a maximum price of 84,000,000.00 euros (eighty-four million euros).

5. Who is the contracting authority?

The contracting authority is Águas do Algarve, S.A.

6. What is the award criterion?

The award will be made according to the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender, in the form of the "best value for money", in accordance with the tender evaluation model in Annex XI to the Tender Regulation, taking into account the factors and sub-factors and their respective weighting coefficients set out briefly below:

7. What is the deadline for tender submissions?

Tenders may be submitted via the electronic platform until 18:00 on the 66th day following the date on which the notice was sent for publication, which took place on 14 February 2024.

Requests for clarification and lists of errors and omissions on the tender documents must be submitted in writing and directly on the electronic platform by the end of the first third of the deadline set for the submission of tenders.       

8. What is the period of validity of tenders?

Tenderers undertake to maintain their tenders for a period of 90 days from the end of the deadline for submitting them, which may be extended successively for periods of 90 (ninety) days upon Tenderers agreement.