A company owned by one of Viktor Orbán’s younger brothers won a high-value public procurement at the end of 2020: it received a net 268-million-forint (730-thousand-euro) order for the remote monitoring of gas-networks in the upcoming years.
Gamma Analcont Kft, minority owned by Győző Orbán Jr., won the tender from a subsidiary of the German privately-owned E.ON. According to a framework agreement, the Hungarian state is planning to buy a 25% stake in E.ON Hungária, the owner of E.ON’s Hungarian interests. In recent years, we have revealed in a series of articles that the companies of the Orbán family regularly participate in state projects. However, their involvement remains hidden from the public eye, as they work on public projects as subcontractors or as the suppliers of building materials.
This time, the company of Győző Orbán Jr. won E.ON’s tender as a main contractor, through a public procurement, together with another company. The consortium has received a framework contract for the remote monitoring of a total of 270 pressure regulating stations. Gamma Analcont will be responsible for the installation and the documentation of the remote monitoring system, while the other company will supply the required hardware and software. The two companies will receive HUF 255.9 million and an additional HUF 11.8 million for the subsequent maintenance of the system, but they have not answered our questions about how they will share the money.
Pressure regulating equipment reduce the pressure in gas-networks before gas arrives to households. The remote-monitoring device monitors the values measured in the system and alerts the operation if the values deviate from the expected intervals. The proper functioning of these equipment is essential for the safe operation of the system, a source familiar with the market told Direkt36.
The total project covers the installation of 899 pressure regulating station’s remote monitoring system, and E.ON can also entrust the winning companies with the maintenance of the system between 2025 and 2028. The Hungarian state currently does not hold any stake in E.ON , but the company has to organize public tenders for its purchases that are above the procurement threshold and are directly related to the public services the company provides.
E.ON contracted several companies for the project. The company which made the best offer got was contracted to carry out 50% of the job, while the second and third best offers got 30% and 20%, respectively. The consortium led by Gamma Analcont gave the second best offer, so it got the 30% of the tender – however, they will receive 50 million forints (136 thousand euros) more than the company that will complete 50% of the job.
E.ON told Direkt36 that they did not compare the offers to each other, but they wanted to find the best possible combination of offers. They considered the advantages and disadvantages of contracting a single company: while lower price can be an advantage, “the lower flexibility, higher risk, and only one technology” are disadvantages. Therefore, the company decided to contract several companies.
According to E.ON, Gamma Analcont was chosen based on its price offer and professional competence. “Ownership was an aspect to consider when choosing the winning companies,” E.ON told Direkt36.
One of the brothers of Viktor Orbán, Győző Orbán Jr. bought a stake in Gamma Analcont in 2015, and he has a 26% ownership in the company since then. The main activity of the company includes the production, calibration and maintenance of industrial equipment and instruments, and the company also provides consulting services. According to a report of the company from the end of 2020, they plan to change and expand their profile, and to take part in environmental projects and investments in the energy industry.
Gamma Analcont’s website lists companies such as General Electric and Coca-Cola among its partners, and also some partly or fully state-owned companies. From some of these companies – MOL, FGSZ Földgázszállító Zrt., MVM Főgáz Földgázhálózati Kft. – Gamma Analcont had received smaller contracts before the brother of the prime minister joined the company. The MVM Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt. contracted Gamma Analcont after the appearance of Győző Orbán jr., during the summer of 2015, but the contract was only about 80.000 forints.
In the years after 2010, Gamma Analcont generally produced around 200 million forints net annual income, but in 2015, its revenue doubled, while in 2016, it already surpassed 1 billion forints. In the next years, however, the company’s performance fell back to about 400 million forints of annual income. As we earlier reported, the company also received European Union funds on various occasions, amounting to over 500 million forints since 2015.
The result of E.ON’s tender was announced just 5 days after the businesses of the prime minister’s family came up in a press conference of the cabinet. Opposition party Momentum had earlier suggested the exclusion of the families of all government-members from public procurements. Gergely Gulyás, head of the PM’s office refused this suggestion citing international regulations.
We contacted Gamma Analcont, Győző Orbán Jr. and Viktor Orbán, but neither of them responded.
For Hungarian company data, we used the services of Opten.
This article was written by Dániel Szőke, as part of Direkt36’s traineeship program.