Low emissions infrastructure
At the end of June 2021, SOFICO decided to terminate the services contract concerning the recovery of energy potential from the road and river sectors of SOFICO and the Walloon region (Contract no. SOF-19-IBE), known as the “Low-emission Infrastructure Project” or “IBE”.
It must be specified from the outset that the desire to achieve the objectives of the IBE project lies entirely with SOFICO:
- To develop and integrate diversified renewable energy production (wind, biomass, photovoltaic, innovative production, etc.) from the regional public road and river sectors;
- To contribute to regional efforts to reduce global warming;
- To develop new methods and techniques for the storage and management of renewable energy;
- To develop local energy consumption solutions, whether to respond to energy needs related to new techniques and solutions concerning mobility, or to supply SOFICO’s facilities;
- To maximise the recovery of the SOFICO sector.
A decision made in the interest of the IBE project
The process had to be stopped to allow for the reconfiguration of the project for two main reasons:
To best reflect the evolution of the general and regulatory context that has been implemented to facilitate the energy transition.
This adaptation will allow for the scope of the IBE project and its ambition in relation to other SOFICO projects to be established, in particular those linked to a transition towards greener mobility. This will notably also allow for the transposition of the European directives in line with the energy communities (“Market” Directive 2019/944 and “Renewable” Directive 2018/2001) as well as for alignment with the changes to tax and per-kilometre fees in accordance with the motorisation of vehicles.
To reformulate the award criteria given the project’s aim to make them clearer and more operational and, as a result, to avoid any risk of challenge from the candidates.
The first bids submitted by the candidates in the context of the competitive dialogue process highlighted the difficulty in guaranteeing the three award criteria set out in the specifications to decide between the candidates.
Yet, these award criteria cannot be modified during the process.
As a reminder, the document describing the IBE contract set out the following 3 award criteria with all of them having the same value:
- The annual fee offered in exchange for the services provided;
- The quality of the use of renewable energy sources available in the area provided;
- The quality of services offered to sector users.
A new process will be launched shortly to reconfigure the project, reflecting the evolution of the regulatory context and reformulating the award criteria to make them clearer and more operational.
This is a decision required to finalise this project.
The candidates involved in the competitive dialogue procedure for this contract were informed of this decision on 2 July 2021.
SOFICO will subsequently provide information on the launch of the new procedure that will be initiated.