EWG’s factory from the eastern Serbian town of Bor won the controversial tendering for the production of smart power meters for Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), Belgrade newspaper Večernje novosti said on May 12.
The company, which launched production in 2013, is owned by Dejan Bodiroga, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) official and retired Serbian international star athlete.
“According to information we received, the production in EWG shall start soon and it is expected that between 300 and 350 workers will be hired”, municipality head Živorad Petrović said. EWG had asked EUR 26.66 million for the job, while Ericcson was second on the list, with EUR 31.71 million.
Four foreign companies applied for the procurement, out of which three had domestic subcontractors.
On May 16, Serbian Blic newspaper’s portal said Vojin Lazarević, representing another company that participated in the tendering process, sent a complaint to a parliamentary board.
Four foreign companies applied for the procurement, out of which three had domestic partners involved.
EWG is the subcontractor for Atos, headquartered in Paris, while Lazarević’s enterprise works with Siemens, the report said. Serbian media had published information on his alleged links to the company Meter&Control.
The EPS Metering and Distribution Project is financed by loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. The remaining two tenderers, whose offers were also published in April, are Landis&Gyr and Indra.
The Anti-Corruption Council of Serbia called on April 27 for an inquiry into why EPS blocked domestic companies in the tender for smart meters.