Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov gave Turkish consortium Mapa-Cengiz J.V. until January 20, 2010 to show him an exact schedule for the construction of the Lyulin Motorway, specifying a deadline for completion, it emerged at a meeting Wednesday between Borissov and the consortium's Manager Turgut Aksakal, the Government Information Service said.
A contract for the construction of the 18.9-km long Lyulin Motorway, which links the Sofia Ring Road with the Daskalovo interchange near Pernik (Southwestern Bulgaria), was signed with winning tenderer Mapa-Cengiz on August 8, 2006 and was supposed to be finished within 36 months. Ground for the facility was broken on January 31, 2007.
The project costs 148.45 million euro, of which 111.34 million euro (75 per cent) comes from the EU ISPA Programme and the remaining 37.11 million euro (25 per cent) is in national co-financing. So far 38 per cent of the funding has been absorbed.
The Lyulin Motorway is part of E79 and Pan-European Transport Corridors IV (Vidin-Sofia-Koulata) and VIII (Gyueshevo - Kyustendil - Sofia - Trakia Motorway - Bourgas).
"We categorically want Lyulin to be finished in 2010," the Prime Minister stressed. "I expect the schedule to spell out the clear commitments of both the contractor and the State," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov and Regional Development and Public Works Minister Rosen Plevneliev also took part in the conversation.
At the meeting, the Mapa-Cengiz representatives familiarized the Prime Minister with the problems they encounter in building the road. They complained of the previous government which, as they put it, did nothing to help facilitate their work and the fast construction of Lyulin. Among the examples they cited was the fact that the building permit was issued months after the start of actual construiction. Besides this, the land tracts were not fully state-owned and the unfinished condemnation procedures considerably delayed their plans. Another serious problem, in their view, was the State's failure to honour its commitment to assist with the moving of the infrastructure along the motorway's route. The previous government admitted a re-design of all bridges and tunnels and delayed their approval by one year.
Seeking a solution to all those problems, the consortium management had meetings back in 2007 with the then regional development and public works Minister Assen Gagaouzov and transport minister Peter Moutafchiev, as well as National Road Infrastructure Fund Executive Director Vesselin Georgiev. These talks, however, did not result in taking of any measures, the Turkish company said.