ECONOMY

Sunlight gets 100mln torpedo contract

The Ministry of Defense yesterday announced that the government intends to award a contract for heavy torpedoes directly to Greek company Sunlight, a subsidiary of industrial and electronics retailer company Germanos. The contract is worth about 100 million euros. «All the necessary certificates and guarantees will be obtained by (Sunlight) before the contract is signed,» the ministry announced. The announcement confirms reports by Kathimerini and radio station SKAI that the contract had been agreed upon on March 11 at a meeting attended by Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Eleni Louri, economic adviser to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The reports had stressed that Sunlight did not possess the necessary certification to build torpedoes. The government had, back then, denied that any decision to award the contract directly, that is, with no bidding process, had been reached and called the report on the lack of certification «incorrect information.» Both then and now, no mention has been made of a visit by Defense Ministry experts to Sunlight’s factory in Xanthi, northern Greece, which had cast doubt on the desirability to award the contract directly to the firm. Government officials, defending the decision to award the contract to Sunlight, say that the project will ensure 200 jobs. State munitions company EAS (formerly EVO-Pyrkal) had asked to be included in any contracts to build torpedoes last November. EAS last week took out a 30-million-euro loan to pay part of its 2,300 employees’ wages. Sunlight announced yesterday that it had signed a contract, as part of a consortium with Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft/Ferrostaal, to build torpedoes for the Portuguese navy.