Government Reports Progress on Infrastructure Projects

Government Reports Progress on Infrastructure Projects

Construction work at Danube Bridge 2 between Vidin and Bulgaria and Calafat in Romania is expected to commence in April this year and be completed in 2010.

This emerged at a news conference given by Transport Minister Peter Moutafchiev February 25 after a meeting of the Council for Coordination, Control and Implementation of Infrastructure Projects of National Importance, BTA reports.

The bridge will be built by FCC Construction (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA) of Spain. A consortium between Ingerop of France and High-Point Rendel of the UK who will carry out building supervision, project management and engineering services on the project. The construction contract for the bridge amounts to 236 million euro. In addition, infrastructure connecting the bridge to the existing road and rail networks will be required to be completed by 2010. The separate contract for this is 60 million euro.

Moutafchiev said further that the construction of the Lyulin Motorway will be stepped up and the first 12-km stretch from Sofia to Malo Buchino may be ready by the end of this year. The motorway will be part of trans-European corridors IV and VIII and will improve traffic from Sofia towards Greece and Macedonia.

MAPA-Cengiz of Turkey has been contracted to build the motorway at the price of 148 million euro on 75 per cent ISPA funding and 25 per cent national co-financing. Construction began in January 2007.

On another project, construction of a stretch of Hemus Motorway beginning at the Northern arc of the Sofia ring-road is due to start in March.

As for Trakia Motorway, major banks are interested in the project and funding may become available to build the Stara Zagora - Karnobat section by the middle or the end of 2009. This will link the existing parts of the motorway all the way from Sofia to Bourgas on the Black Sea.

A Bulgarian-Portuguese consortium bought a concession to build and operate Trakia Motorway in a deal that drew strong criticism both in Bulgaria and in Brussels.

Late March 2008 will also see the completion of a 500 million euro upgrade of Unit 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, said Peter Dimitrov. Work is also underway - even though behind schedule - on introducing desulphurization technologies at the Maritsa East 1 and 2 thermo-electric power plants. Progress has been made in the project for a 400-kV power line between Bulgaria and Macedonia, said the Economy and Energy Minister.

Environment Minister Djevdet Chakurov, who was also at the news conference, said that Bulgaria will utilize all funding available under ISPA for the water and waste sectors. He added that his ministry will provide all support the Sofia local authorities may need for its project to build a waste treatment plant.

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