Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan

EU Support to Sustainable Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)

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Contract notice

Procurement of technical assistance services:

EU Support to Sustainable Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)
Location: Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Publication reference in OJ S: 2020/S 213-520763

Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kazakhstan has launched procurement of technical assistance services through a restricted tender procedure.

The action entitled ‘EU Support to Sustainable Energy Connectivity in Central Asia’ to be financed under the Development Cooperation Instrument will aim to promote a more sustainable energy mix in the Central Asia region in line with EU best practices and to work through a range of activities for achieving concrete outputs to strengthen public capacity (institutional, human, regulatory, and financial), raise awareness, improve data and modelling, facilitate the identification of bankable projects, and boost regional cooperation, eventually setting the seed for connectivity.

The deadline for submission of applications is 08 December 2020, 16.00 p.m. (Brussels time).

 

Additional information about the Contract Notice

 

EU Support to Sustainable Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)
Location: Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

 

1. Nature of contract

Fee-based

2. Programme title

EU Support to Sustainable Connectivity in Central Asia

3. Financing

BGUE-B2020-21.020300-C1-DEVCO

4. Eligibility and rules of origin

Participation is open to all natural persons who are nationals of and legal persons (participating either individually or in a grouping – consortium – of candidates/tenderers) which are effectively established in a  Member State of the European Union or in a eligible country or territory as defined under the Regulation (EU) No 236/2014 establishing common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union's instruments for external action (CIR) for the applicable instrument under which the contract is financed (see also heading ‘Legal basis’ below). Participation is also open to international organisations.

For UK candidates or tenderers: Please be aware that following the entry into force of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement* on 1 February 2020 and in particular Articles 127(6), 137 and 138, the references to natural or legal persons residing or established in a Member State of the European Union and to goods originating from an eligible country, as defined under Regulation (EU) No 236/2014** and Annex IV of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement***, are to be understood as including natural or legal persons residing or established in, and to goods originating from, the United Kingdom ****. Those persons and goods are therefore eligible under this call.

* Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.

** Regulation (EU) No 236/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 laying down common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union's instruments for financing external action.

*** Annex IV to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, as revised by Decision 1/2014 of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers (OJ L196/40, 3.7.2014)

**** including the Overseas Countries and Territories having special relations with the United Kingdom, as laid down in Part Four and Annex II of the TFEU

5. Candidature

All eligible natural and legal persons (as per item 4 above) or groupings of such persons (consortia) may apply.

A consortium may be a permanent, legally-established grouping or a grouping which has been constituted informally for a specific tender procedure. All partners of a consortium (i.e., the leader and all other partners) are jointly and severally liable to the contracting authority.

Central Asia inter-state regional organizations or institutions being one of the target groups of this service contract cannot apply, either individually or in a grouping (consortium) of tenderers.

The participation of an ineligible natural or legal person will result in the automatic exclusion of that person. In particular, if that ineligible person belongs to a consortium, the whole consortium will be excluded.

6. Number of applications or tenders

No more than one application or tender can be submitted by a natural or legal person whatever the form of participation (as an individual legal entity or as leader or partner of a consortium submitting an application/tender). In the event that a natural or legal person submits more than one application or tender, all applications or tenders in which that person has participated will be excluded.

7. Tender guarantee

No tender guarantee is required.

8. Performance guarantee

No performance guarantee required.

9. Information meeting and/or site visit

No information meeting is planned.

10. Tender validity

Tenders must remain valid for a period of 6 months after the deadline for submission of tenders. In exceptional circumstances, the contracting authority may, before the validity period expires, request that tenderers extend the validity of tenders for a specific period.

11. Shortlist alliances prohibited

Any tenders received from tenderers having a different composition that the ones mentioned in the short-listed application forms will be excluded from this restricted tender procedure, unless prior approval from the contracting authority has been obtained – see practical guide 2.6.3. Short-listed candidates may not form alliances or subcontract to each other for the contract in question.

12. Grounds for exclusion

Candidates or tenderers must submit a signed declaration, included in the application form or tender form, to the effect that they are not in any of the situations listed in Section 2.6.10.1. of the practical guide (PRAG). Where the candidate or tenderer intends to rely on capacity providing entities or subcontractor(s), he/she must provide the same declaration signed by this/these entity(ies).

Candidates or tenderers included in the lists of EU restrictive measures (see Section 2.4. of the PRAG) at the moment of the award decision cannot be awarded the contract.

13. Sub-contracting

Sub-contracting is allowed.

14. Number of candidates to be short-listed

On the basis of the applications received, between 4 and 8 candidates will be invited to submit detailed tenders for this contract. If the number of eligible candidates meeting the selection criteria is less than the minimum of 4, the contracting authority may invite the candidates who satisfy the criteria to submit a tender. If the number of eligible candidates meeting the selection criteria is more than the maximum allowed, the contracting authority will rank them using the re-examination criteria stated below.

15. Provisional date of invitation to tender

15 January 2021

16. Provisional commencement date of the contract

June 2021

17. Period of implementation of tasks

48 months

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SELECTION AND AWARD CRITERIA

18. Selection criteria

The following selection criteria will be applied to candidates. In the case of applications submitted by a consortium, these selection criteria will be applied to the consortium as a whole if not specified otherwise. The selection criteria will not be applied to natural persons and single-member companies when they are sub-contractors.

The selection criteria for each tenderer are as follows:

1) Economic and financial capacity (based on item 3 of the service application form). In case of candidate being a public body, equivalent information should be provided. The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last three years for which accounts have been closed.

  • The average annual turnover of the candidate for 2017 – 2019 must exceed EUR 2 Million; and
  • Current ratio (current assets/current liabilities) in the last year for which accounts have been closed must be at least 1. In case of a consortium this criterion must be fulfilled by each member.

2) Professional capacity (based on items 4 and 6 of the application form). The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last five years preceding the submission deadline.

  • The candidate has provided services under at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million which were implemented at any moment during the reference period: the last 5 years from the submission deadline. This means that the contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided if the selection criteria relating to the pertinence of the experience have been used.
  • At least 5 staff currently work for the candidate in fields related to this contract.

3)  Technical capacity (based on item 6 of the application form). The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last three years from submission deadline.

  • The candidate has provided services under at least one contract with a budget of at least EUR 1 million in the provision of technical assistance services in the field of Sustainable Energy as the contract’s main activity which was implemented at any moment during the reference period: 3 years from the submission deadline.

This means that the contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period. Candidates  are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence ( statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate  has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided if the selection criteria relating to the pertinence of the experience have been used.

Documentary evidence is not required at the application stage but will be requested with the invitation to tender. Previous experience which caused breach of contract and termination by a contracting authority shall not be used as reference.

Capacity-providing entities

An economic operator may, where appropriate and for a particular contract, rely on the capacities of other entities, regardless of the legal nature of the links which it has with them. If the economic operator relies on other entities it must in that case prove to the contracting authority that it will have at its disposal the resources necessary for performance of the contract by producing a commitment by those entities to place those resources at its disposal. Such entities, for instance the parent company of the economic operator, must respect the same rules of eligibility and notably that of nationality as the economic operator relying on them and must comply with the selection criteria for which the economic operator relies on them. Furthermore, the data for this third entity for the relevant selection criterion should be included in a separate document. Proof of the capacity will also have to be provided when requested by the contracting authority.

With regard to technical and professional criteria, an economic operator may only rely on the capacities of other entities where the latter will perform the tasks for which these capacities are required.

With regard to economic and financial criteria, the entities upon whose capacity the economic operator relies, become jointly and severally liable for the performance of the contract.

If more than 8 eligible candidates meet the above selection criteria, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the applications of these candidates must be re-examined in order to rank their applications and identify the 8 best applications for the tender procedure. The only additional comparative criteria that which will be taken into consideration during this re-examination, in the order in which they appear below,  are:

  • the highest value of projects that meet criterion 3. Technical capacity.

19. Award criteria

Best price-quality ratio.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

APPLICATION AND TENDERING

20. Applications format and details to be provided

Applications must be submitted using the standard application form, the format and instructions of which must be strictly observed. The application form is available from the following Internet address:

https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?isAnnexes=true

The application must be accompanied by a declaration on honour on exclusion and selection criteria using the template available from the following Internet address:

https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?isAnnexes=true

Any documentation (brochure, letter, etc.) sent with an application in addition to what has been requested will not be taken into consideration.

21. How applications may be submitted

Applications must be submitted in English exclusively to the contracting authority.

  • By e-mail to following e-mail address:

DELEGATION-KAZAKHSTAN-PROPOSALS@EEAS.EUROPA.EU

The contract title and publication reference (see contract notice) must be clearly marked in the subject of the e-mail and must always be mentioned in all subsequent correspondence with the contracting authority.

Applications submitted by any other means will not be considered.

The size of attachements must not exceed 10MB. In case you are sending several e-mails please number them (e.g.: 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 etc.)

By submitting an application candidates accept to receive notification of the outcome of the procedure by electronic means. Such notification shall be deemed to have been received on the date upon which the contracting authority sends it to the electronic address referred to in the application form.

22. Deadline for submission of applications

The deadline for submission of applications is 8 December 2020, 16:00 Brussels time.

Any application sent to the contracting authority after this deadline will not be considered.

23. Clarifications on the contract notice

Clarifications may be sought from the contracting authority at the following email address  DELEGATION-KAZAKHSTAN-PROPOSALS@EEAS.EUROPA.EU at the latest 21 days before the deadline for submission of applications.

Please find below the clarifications on the Contract Notice.

Questions and Answers

Question 1: In section I.1) you state that tenders or requests to participate must be submitted to the address of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kazakhstan but also indicate an e-mail address. Could you please confirm that it is sufficient to send the Expression of Interest electronically via e-mail?

Answer 1: We confirm that applications must be submitted to the contracting authority by e-mail to the following e-mail address:

DELEGATION-KAZAKHSTAN-PROPOSALS@EEAS.EUROPA.EU   

Question 2: Does a reference could be eligible for both professional and technical criteria?

Answer 2: It is possible that a specific reference can meet requirements for both professional and technical criteria.

Question 3: There is a discrepancy between the Contract Notice and the additional information to the Contract Notice posted on the EU Delegation´s website regarding the deadline, in one document is stated on December 3rd, and in other on December 8th. Could you please confirm which of those is the correct deadline?

Answer 3: Please refer to the corrigendum to the Contract Notice. The revised deadline for the submission of applications is 8 December 2020, 16:00 Brussels time. Any application sent to the contracting authority after this deadline will not be considered.

Question 4: There is a discrepancy between the Contract Notice and the additional information to the Contract Notice posted on the EU Delegation´s website regarding the status of the references needed to comply with the Professional requirements.  Could you please confirm if the references complying with the professional requirement must be referred to successfully completed projects or by the contrary the consultant can present references for projects not yet completed?

Answer 4: Please refer to the corrigendum to the Contract Notice. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 5: Could you please confirm that in case of reference for projects completed within the reference period, although started earlier, only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration?

Answer 5: Please refer to the corrigendum to the Contract Notice. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 6: There is a discrepancy between the Contract Notice and the additional information to the Contract Notice regarding the status of the references needed to comply with the Technical requirements. Could you please confirm that in case of reference for projects completed within the reference period, although started earlier, only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration?

Answer 6: Please refer to the corrigendum to the Contract Notice. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 7: Could you please confirm that proper pieces of evidence to support project references are not needed at this EOI stage?

Answer 7: Documentary evidence is not required at the application stage but will be requested with the invitation to tender.

Question 8: In the Contract Notice under Selection Criteria/Professional Capacity point 1 it is stated that:  “The applicant should possess proven professional capacity in successfully completing the implementation of at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million - during the last 5 years from the submission deadline. Successful implementation shall be proved by means of certificates of completion of services issued by the employer/entity which awarded the contract;”.

Could you please clarify whether the combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million has to be calculated on the basis of: a) the amount implemented by the consortium within the reference period (last five years from the submission deadline), b) the amount implemented only by the applicant within the reference period (last five years from the submission deadline), or c) the overall budget of the project?

If c) is valid: for a project that started in 2014 and that will end in December 2020: would the overall budget of the project be considered as eligible or only the portion implemented in the last 5 years from the submission deadline should be included?

Answer 8: The combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million has to be calculated on the basis of the amount implemented by the members of the consortium during the last five years from the submission deadline. This means that the contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 9: In the Contract Notice under Selection Criteria/Professional Capacity point 1 it is stated that:  “The applicant should possess proven professional capacity in successfully completing the implementation of at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million - during the last 5 years from the submission deadline. Successful implementation shall be proved by means of certificates of completion of services issued by the employer/entity which awarded the contract;”.

Could you please clarify whether in absence of a certificate of completion proofs of payment and contracts between the client and the applicant can also be accepted as evidence?

Answer 9:  Contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period. If the contract is not yet finalized and therefore a certificate of completion has not been received, proofs of payment and contracts between the client and the applicant can also be accepted as evidences.

Question 10: In the Contract Notice under Selection Criteria/Professional Capacity point 1 it is stated that: “The applicant should possess proven professional capacity in successfully completing the implementation of at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million - during the last 5 years from the submission deadline. Successful implementation shall be proved by means of certificates of completion of services issued by the employer/entity which awarded the contract;”.

Could please clarify that also ongoing projects can be considered as eligible under this criteria? Would a project that started in 2014 and that will end in December 2020 be considered as eligible?

Answer 10: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 11: Could you please clarify whether only completed projects can be considered as eligible under this criteria?

Answer 11: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 12: In the Contract Notice under Selection Criteria/Technical Capacity point 1 it is stated that: “The candidate has successfully completed at least one contract with a budget of at least EUR 1 million in the provision of technical assistance services in the field of Sustainable Energy as the contract’s main activity which was implemented at any moment during the reference period: 3 years from the submission deadline.”

Could you please confirm that the budget of 1 million refers to: a) the amount implemented by the consortium within the reference period, b) the amount implemented only by the applicant within the reference period, or c) the overall budget of the project?

Answer 12: If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, only the portion satisfactorily completed by the candidate during the reference period will be taken into consideration.

Question 13: Could you please clarify whether in absence of a certificate of completion proofs of payment and contracts between the client and the applicant can also be accepted as evidences?

Answer 13: Contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period. If the contract is not yet finalized and therefore a certificate of completion has not been received, proofs of payment and contracts between the client and the applicant can also be accepted as evidences.

Question 14: Could please clarify that also ongoing projects can be considered as eligible under this criteria? Would a project that started in 2014 and that will end in December 2020 be considered as eligible?

Answer 14: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 15: Could you please clarify whether only completed projects can be considered as eligible under this criteria?

Answer 15: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 16: In the Contract Notice under the 3)Technical Capacity Section, it is mentioned that “The candidate has successfully completed at least one contract with a budget of at least EUR 1 million in the provision of technical assistance services...” and in the following paragraph it is also mentioned that “This means that the project the candidate refers to could have been started or completed at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be started and completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period”. Could you please clarify if on-going projects will also be considered as eligible references?

Answer 16: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 17: In the Contract Notice under the 3)Technical Capacity Section, it is mentioned that “The candidate has successfully completed at least one contract with a budget of at least EUR 1 million in the provision of technical assistance services in the field of Sustainable Energy as the contract’s main activity which was implemented at any moment during the reference period”. Could you please clarify whether all fields of sustainable energy (including renewable energy and energy efficiency) could be considered as belonging to the field of “sustainable energy”?

Answer 17: The field of sustainable energy includes renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Question 18: Regarding the contract budget of the references, which budget should be taken into account, the implemented amount to date or the total amount of the project?

Answer 18: Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 19: Section 2) Professional capacity: “The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last five years preceding the submission deadline.”- Could you please confirm that the reference period will be the last five years and not three?

Answer 19: The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last five years preceding the submission deadline.

Question 20: Section 2) Professional capacity : “The applicant should possess proven professional capacity in successfully completing the implementation of at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million - during the last 5 years from the submission deadline. Successful implementation shall be proved by means of certificates of completion of services issued by the employer/entity which awarded the contract;” – do we understand correctly that this criterion has to be addressed under the technical capacity? If, yes, could you please confirm;

Answer 20: No: this is the professional capacity criterion.

Question 21: Section 3) Technical capacity: Could you kindly inform us which PRAG version the procedure applies to? In case the procedure follows PRAG 2020, would the following paragraph be still applicable: “….This means that the project the candidate refers to could have been started or completed at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be started and completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period. Candidates/tenderers are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. In the first case the project will be considered in its whole if proper evidence of performance is provided (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of final payment to be submitted together with the tender). In case of projects still on-going only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period although started earlier will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (similarly to projects completed) also detailing its value...”?

Answer 21: This section of the Contract Notice has been amended following PRAG version 2020.0. Please see the revised text in the corrigendum.

Question 22: Section 1. How applications may be submitted: ” …By e-mail to following e-mail address: DELEGATION-KAZAKHSTAN-PROPOSALS@EEAS.EUROPA.EU”- can you please advise what should the maximum size of the email/document to be sent?

Answer 22: The size of attachements must not exceed 10MB. In case you are sending several e-mails please number them (e.g.: 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 etc.).

Question 23: In section II.2.9. Information about the limits on the number of candidates to be invited, under point Candidature, you have noted the following: “Central Asia inter-state regional organizations or institutions being one of the target groups of this service contract cannot apply, either individually or in a grouping (consortium) of tenderers.”

Does this imply that regional organisations, such as regional centre, that acts as an “independent, non-political and non-for-profit international organisation with regional mandate”, is excluded from applying for this tender?

If your answer is yes, and such an organisation is excluded from the tender procedure: can it be included under sub-contracting arrangements?

Answer 23: Central Asia inter-state regional organizations or institutions being one of the target groups of this service contract are not eligible, either individually or in a grouping (consortium) of tenderers in this tender procedure.

Sub-Contracting to non-eligible entities is not allowed.

Question 24: In section III.1.3. Technical and professional ability under Professional capacity of candidate you noted that “The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last five years from submission deadline”, while under Technical capacity of candidate you noted “The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last three years from submission deadline.”

Based on different timeframes stated for the eligibility of the references included in the Express of interest, which timeframe is correct – three or five years from the submission deadline?

Answer 24: Professional capacity: The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last five years preceding the submission deadline.

Technical capacity: The reference period which will be taken into account will be the last three years from submission deadline.

Question 25: We understand that the PRAG 2020 is applicable to every procedure where the contract notice has been published as from 1 August 2020, which is the case here. However, we noticed that the conditions regarding the portion taken into consideration for service contracts completed before the end of the reference period, is as per PRAG 2019. Could you please clarify.

Answer 25: This section of the Contract Notice has been amended following PRAG version 2020.0. Please see the revised text in the corrigendum.

Question 26: Reference to Section III.1.3) Professional capacity of candidate of the CN “Professional capacity of candidate (based on items 4 and 6 of the application form):” and “The applicant should possess proven professional capacity in successfully completing the implementation of at least 3 projects in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million — during the last 5 years from the submission deadline.”

Question 26 a): Can you please clarify how the required projects should be presented? In case they are to be presented in item 6 of the application form, can you confirm that those projects references could be presented separately and in addition to the 15 references allowed for covering the Technical capacity criteria? Shall those projects for proven professional capacity be presented as full references or is it sufficient that they are presented in a table under item 6 of the application form?

Answer 26 a): Projects related to the professional capacity should be presented in item 6 of the application form. We confirm that these projects can be presented separately and in addition to the maximum 15 references allowed for the technical capacity criteria.

Question 26 b): Can you clarify the type of projects in energy sector that could be applicable to cover Professional capacity criteria.

Answer 26 b): The projects (at least 3) should have been implemented in the energy sector, each with at least 1 year duration and with a combined total budget of at least EUR 8 million which were implemented at any moment during the reference period: the last 5 years from the submission deadline. This means that the contract the candidate refers to could have been started at any time during the indicated period but it does not necessarily have to be completed during that period, nor implemented during the entire period. Candidates are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. Only the portion satisfactorily completed during the reference period will be taken into consideration. This portion will have to be supported by documentary evidence (statement or certificate from the entity which awarded the contract, proof of payment) also detailing its value. If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, the percentage that the candidate  has successfully completed must be clear from the documentary evidence, together with a description of the nature of the services provided.

Question 27: Reference to Section III.1.3) Technical capacity of candidate: “at least one contract with a budget of at least EUR 1 million in the provision of technical assistance services in the field of sustainable energy as the contract’s main activity which was implemented at any moment during the reference period: 3 years from the submission deadline.”

Question 27 a): Can you confirm our understanding that technical assistance services in the field of sustainable energy are services targeting institutional support, institutional strengthening and capacity building; development of policies and strategies; improvement of regulatory framework and development of master plans and action plans and those should be main activities of the contract. Thus, engineering services like supervision of works and detail design of energy infrastructure could not be considered applicable to this requirement.

Answer 27 a): Technical assistance services should not be limited to the types of services listed in your question.

Question 27 b): Can you confirm that this portion of 1 000 000 EUR budget on successfully completed services must be own share on services performed by the entity presenting the reference and must be implemented only within the reference period as per the new PRAG 2020 rules?

Answer 27 b): If a candidate has implemented the project in a consortium, only the portion satisfactorily completed by the candidate during the reference period will be taken into consideration.

Question 28: Reference to Section III.1.3) Technical capacity of candidate: “Candidates/tenderers are allowed to refer either to projects completed within the reference period (although started earlier) or to projects not yet completed. In the first case the project will be considered in its whole if proper evidence of performance is provided”

As we understand that the new PRAG 2020 is applicable on this procedure, can you please confirm that for: (i) completed projects - only the portion of budget successfully delivered during the reference period and supported by documentary evidence will be considered for the criteria on Technical capacity; (ii) ongoing projects - only the portion of budget successfully delivered during the reference period and supported by documentary evidence will be considered for the criteria on Technical capacity. Please confirm that this logic is also applicable to the projects required for professional capacity criteria.

Answer 28: This section of the Contract Notice has been amended following PRAG version 2020.0. Please see the revised text in the corrigendum.

Question 29: Could you please confirm that multisectoral infrastructure projects covering several infrastructure sectors at the same time like environment, water, energy, transport can not be used as references for the Technical capacity criteria as the field of sustainable energy is not the contract’s main activity as required by the criteria. Please confirm that this logic is also applicable to the projects required for professional capacity criteria.

Answer 29: The technical capacity criteria requires provision of technical assistance services in the field of Sustainable Energy as the contract’s main activity. Therefore, only the projects where the  provision of technical assistance services in the field of Sustainable Energy has been the contract’s main activity will be taken into account. Similar logic applies also to the professional capacity criteria: only the project in the in the energy sector as the contract’s main activity will be taken into account.

Question 30: Our company is based in Mumbai, India.

Considering the geographical constraint of personally reviewing the document, I request you to provide us the following details before we buy the document:

1) List of Items, Schedule of Requirements, Scope of Work, Terms of Reference, Bill of Materials required.

2) Soft Copy of the Tender Document through email.

3) Names of countries that will be eligible to participate in this tender.

4) Information about the Tendering Procedure and Guidelines

5) Estimated Budget for this Purchase

6) Any Extension of Bidding Deadline?

7) Any Addendum or Pre Bid meeting Minutes?

Answer 30: This is a restricted procedure. Please consult the Practical Guide on Contract Procedures for European Union external action (PRAG). It provides contracting authorities, on the one hand, and tenderers, candidates, applicants and contractors, on the other hand, with practical assistance in preparing and implementing procurement and grant contracts in the field of external action. PRAG is available at: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/

Additional Information about the Contract Notice is available at:

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/kazakhstan/88000/eu-support-sustainable-connectivity-central-asia-secca_en

24. Alteration or withdrawal of applications

Applicants may alter or withdraw their applications by written notification prior to the deadline for submission of applications. No applications may be altered after this deadline.

Any such notification of alteration or withdrawal shall be prepared and submitted by e-mail in accordance with precedent item.

25. Language of the procedure

All written communications for this tender procedure and contract must be in English.

26. Legal basis

Regulation (EU) No 236/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 laying down common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union's instruments for financing external action and Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014, establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020 (DCI) - See Annex A2 of the practical guide.

27. Additional information

Financial data to be provided by the candidate in the standard application form or the tenderer in the tender form must be expressed in EUR. If applicable, where a candidate refers to amounts originally expressed in a different currency, the conversion to EUR shall be made in accordance with the InforEuro exchange rate of the applicable InforEuro exchange rate, which can correspond to the month and year of the publication of the present contract notice, which can be found at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/graphs/inforeuro.html.

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