Award procedure

Before making a purchase, Elia assesses the best way of awarding the contract to a given supplier.

Type of contract

The procedure for awarding a contract can vary from simple to complex, depending on the type of contract, whether or not it is for a recurring service and the size of the contract. Purchases can be made in two ways:

  • If it is a one-off purchase, a call for tenders is organised, resulting in a standard order.
  • If it is a recurring purchase, a framework contract or long-term contract setting out the terms of the service is concluded with the supplier. If a service has to be delivered, call-off orders referring to this framework contract are made. 


In some cases, price is the only criterion for awarding an order to a given supplier. But in most cases multiple criteria are considered when selecting a supplier. A TCO (total cost of ownership) model has been developed to help with awarding projects: multiple criteria have been defined, along with their relative importance (weighting).

The following are some of the cost criteria used:

  • acquisition costs (studies, specification, negotiations, conclusion of a contract, purchase price, etc.);
  • acceptance costs (acceptance, billing, payment, inspection, etc.);
  • costs of taking possession of the item (storage, taxes, etc.);
  • costs of use (installation costs, operating costs and losses, energy supply, maintenance, training, costs of quality and security problems, decommissioning costs, etc.);
  • removal costs (disposal, environmental costs, etc.).

In addition to cost criteria, quality and safety criteria are also used to assess the purchase.

These criteria are specific to each purchase and can vary significantly from one call for tenders to another.

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