of Eleni Botas
Interventions in order to deal with the large increases in the cost of materials were requested yesterday by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport K. Karamanlis by the heads of the five major construction groups.
From the podium of the 5th Infrastructure and Transport Conference, the builders argued that the measures announced by the Ministry and as he wrote it Capital.gr They are expected to be voted on next week in Parliament, but they are in the right direction but they are not enough.
This is because the increases are so large that they are called upon to cover them themselves, with the result that the project schedules and the viability of the companies are threatened.
The builders even talked about the possibility if eventually “9 projects should be done instead of 10”.
The authorized consultant of TERNA Al. Michailidis argued yesterday that the Price Observatory should operate because otherwise the technical companies will find it difficult to prepare bids for the projects they claim. However, he noted that the country is in a better phase and there are prospects despite rising prices and tight schedules.
For his part, the CEO of AVAX K. Mitzalis referred to the lack of materials, costs that now go beyond any provisions, which are not covered by revisions of prices and contracts. Although he was positive about the interventions made by the Ministry, however, as he said, it covers part of the costs. That’s why he asked for price revisions in more materials until the prices fall.
“Now that we are ready to scarf, we must not press the brake,” said Mr. Mitzalis.
On his part, the president of AKTOR Chr. Panagiotopoulos said that over 40 billion euros are coming in the next decade and regional development is a leading factor. However, it also addressed the challenges facing the industry such as the cost of raw materials, staff shortages and time-consuming procedures.
He noted that it is difficult to give an immediate solution while the Observatory takes months, so a more “robust” price review is required, with Greece having to follow the example of other countries such as Romania where there is a model of automatic adjustment through a special type.
As he already said, the companies are trying to finance projects with their own funds as they cannot turn to the banks.
He mentioned as an example the Vonitsa – Lefkada project that AKTOR had undertaken during the previous administration with a 50% discount and with the international rally of prices on materials the construction cost increased by 30%.
Mytilineos General Manager of Sustainable Development Projects, Pan. Gardelinos stressed that the brave decision to execute the projects should be taken despite the price increases.
But to be executed on the right budgets even if their number is smaller. He even mentioned an example where the group recently took over 2 contracts in Great Britain and Poland amounting to 530 million euros, with the initial offers at the end of 2021 being at 450 million euros.
When he came in contact and negotiated with clients after the start of the war in Ukraine posing the dilemma of either changing the budgets, as it finally happened, or waiting for both sides to calm down. “So the same must be done here, the budgets must be raised and let less projects be done, 9 instead of 10”, he noted characteristically.
Finally, the CEO of Intrakat Petros Souretis stated that the increase reaches 174% in asphalt, 80% in iron, 160% in cast iron, 60% in plastic, 200% in energy. In fact, he estimated that there would be serious problems in the supply chain after the destruction of factories in Azovstal, Ukraine, where 30% of some materials were produced, such as iron.
Finally, all the executives of the construction industry referred to the big problem of the lack of engineers and craftsmen and the need to give incentives to return to the country.