6/18/2012 - Romania: Work on local missile defense shield to start in 2013 Work on local mis
Building works at the military site in Deveselu, Olt County, that will host elements of the US missile defense project will start in the spring of 2013 and will take 24 months, after the tendering of contractors is completed, said US representatives last week during an industry day where Romania companies could find out about the project’s business opportunities.
US representatives expect two contracts to be approved, one for developing the facilities of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and one for the US Navy component that is included in the Deveselu site, some 230 km from Bucharest.
More than half of the MDA facilities require a US prime contractor that has security clearance. These include the launch area of missile interceptors, a back-up power plant and a security control building. Other facilities include a non-mission power plant, the foundation construction, a fire station and the site infrastructure and utilities, which do not require a US prime contractor. The contract is worth USD 100 million-250 million.
The Navy facilities includes an access control center, housing and dining facilities, a medical facility and site utilities and infrastructure for 250 people. Due to its limited footprint on the MDA facility, this does not need a US prime contractor. The value is USD 25 million-100 million.
“This project reaffirms Romania’s commitments to NATO and reflects the very strong relations between our two countries,” said Ken Wetzel, press officer at the US Embassy.
Shield attracts companies
The US embassy said that around 175 companies from nine countries including Italy and Turkey attended the industry day. These companies are active in various sectors including industrial construction, logistics and IT&C.
Bogdan Aurescu, state secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said US forces should contract Romanian suppliers of goods and services if possible.
“The US agreement regarding the placement of the anti-missile shield in Romania, signed last year on September 13 in Washington, creates the premises for Romanian companies to participate in making the Deveselu base operational,” said Aurescu. He added that Romanian companies have gained significant experience in NATO projects in the last eight years, since the country joined NATO.
“This is a normal decision given that they can’t bring all the workforce to Romania and this is a good opportunity for Romanian firms to develop their technical capabilities, and to export capacities to other places where the US army and US government have projects. This is a large-scale project that will help us gain experience and profit,” said Adi Lupascu, general manager at B3Globalcon Romania. The company has already won a series of contracts with the US government at the US Army base in Kogalniceanu, Constanta, since 2007.
President Traian Basescu said last month the missile shield assets in Romania were currently being developed under a bilateral agreement between the US and Romania and would become operational in 2015. The shield system will gradually be transferred under the aegis of NATO. Until the missile defense system becomes fully operational, US ships will guard South-Eastern Europe, partially covering Romanian territory.
Aurescu said the missile defense was an ongoing project, and the declaration of the intermediary capacity during the NATO Summit in Chicago was the initial stage of this project, which will become fully operation by 2018, when Poland will set up a facility similar to the Deveselu base.