Regional Development and Public Works Minister Rosen Plevneliev told journalists on Tuesday that his Ministry has issued a construction permit for Lot 4 of the Trakia Motorway.
An agreement with the contractor for building the 49.08 km section of the motorway between Yambol and Karnobat in Southeastern Bulgaria was signed at the Road Infrastructure Agency later in the day, the Agency said. The contractor is Consortium Trakia IV, in which the lead partner is Holding Roads.
Another agreement has been signed with Plan Invest - Plovdiv Invest - LOT4, the construction supervisor for the section.
The construction of Lot 4 will cost 174,705,600 leva (89,325,555 euro), exclusive of VAT. Eighty per cent of the financing has been secured from the EU Cohesion Fund under Operational Programme Transport, and the remaining 20 per cent is coming from Bulgaria's national budget.
The first sod for the future road section will be turned on September 3 in the presence of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The section is to be built in 28 months.
The Regional Development and Public Works Ministry is working on five large government investment loans - Transit Roads 5: with the World Bank for roads, dam lakes and repair of six unsafe bridges, and with the German development bank KfW for landslide reinforcement, Plevneliev recalled.
For World Bank and European Investment Bank-supported road repairs alone, the country will need 500 million leva (256 million euro) in 2011, he said.
A meeting at the Finance Ministry on Wednesday will discuss government investment loans for 2011 and the budget of the Regional Development and Public Works Ministry for that year. Further working meetings for coordination with the Finance Ministry will be held on Friday and early next week. The idea is to submit the 2011 National Budget Bill to Parliament at the end of September, the Minister said.
A World Bank loan is being restructured to drop out two road sections and thus provide between 5 million and 10 million euro in resources for the preparation of projects for 2014-2020, he said. The term of Bulgaria's road repair loan agreement with the World Bank will be extended from 2011 to the end of 2013. Plevneliev will meet with World Bank officials on Wednesday.
Asked whether the deadline for submission of claims for government payments owed to private contractors will be extended, Plevneliev urged such contractors to claim their dues from the government through the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) until the end of September, when the programme will expire.
There is 600 million leva (307 million euro) in the BDB's budget waiting to be taken, he said. Some 150 million leva (76.7 million euro) has been absorbed so far. Finance Ministry data show that businesses also owe the government at least 600 million leva (307 million euro), he said.