The increase in prices risks blocking the works envisaged by the NRP, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The alarm was raised by Ance, the association of builders, with a letter from the president, Gabriele Buia, to Prime Minister Mario Draghi. In the text Buia expresses «very strong concern for the problem of expensive materials», which represents «a serious danger for the realization of all public works, starting from those of the NRP».
According to the president of the constructors, “in the absence of an adjustment of the prices and the prices based on the auction, not only the possibility of formulating suitable offers will be compromised», With the risk therefore that no company comes forward to carry out the work, but also works already contracted are likely to stop compromising “compliance with time schedules”. In the long letter Buia he uses the “example of iron rod”, a basic material in construction: “In recently announced tenders, the price of the rod should be increased by more than 80% to bring the value of the price list in line with the current market price”.
In 2021, says Ance, very strong increases also affected PVC (99.4%), copper (57.1%), timber (between 72 and 88%, depending on the type). The conclusion is drastic: “the conditions are lacking today to be able to work seriously and it is unthinkable to bet on the success of the Plan” if the government does not intervene with “an emergency solution for the calls published in recent months and still in progress”, which could be “a revision clause “or the suspension of tenders and their adjustment” on the basis of new updated price lists “. For future calls for tenders, “it is essential – claims Ance – that prices are in line with current market prices”.
And since inflation no longer seems such a transitory phenomenon, the manufacturers are also calling for «the introduction of a structural price revision, on the model of that adopted in other European countries “, in practice a periodic indexing of contracts. In short, the surge in prices, which few had foreseen when the PNRR was being developed, changed the scenario. The risk is that we will go back, in the spiral of repeated price revisions in progress, with the result of multiplying the final costs of the same. But Buia rejects this criticism: «We ask for a revision mechanism that it works both up and down, according to the trend in the prices of materials. The alternative is that businesses fail ”.
Buia also discussed the issue with the Minister of Infrastructure, Enrico Giovannini. “Both the premier and the minister have taken the issue to heart – says the leader of the ANCE – and we hope that it can be resolved in the next decree that is being studied by the government”. Already last year it intervened twice with 200 million in all to integrate the resources of the contracting stations called to face the increase in prices. In fact, according to the procurement code, companies take on increases of up to 10% while for the excess part the State intervenes for half: for example in the case of + 16% it recognizes 3% of the company. It is clear, however, that inflation risks determining a revision of the NRP projects, because if more money is needed to do the same things, either the State intervenes by adding resources to European funds or fewer works will be carried out.