Government officials presented the major infrastructure projects to be funded under EU’s Operational Programmes (OP) in the period 2014-2020 at the Bulgaria Economic Forum (www.biforum.org).
The total planned funds under the Regional Development programme are more than EUR 1.377 bln, including EUR 1.143 bln of granted funds, said Ivan Popov of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Regional Development. More than 60% of the funds are allocated for Priority Axis 1: Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development, which includes energy efficiency projects for residential and administrative buildings, development of the educational and social infrastructure as well as integrated urban transport.
The main road projects to be financed under OP Transport 2014-2020 were preseneted by Martin Georgiev of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport and Asen Antov of National Company Strategic Infrastructure Projects (NCSIP). Among the major projects are:
- Struma motorway – the motorway will connect the Bulgarian capital Sofia with the Greek border and is part of the Pan-European Corridor IV. The construction of the most challenging lot 3 of the motorway is expected to start in 2015 and the whole motorway should be completed by 2021;
- Hemus motorway – with a total planned length of 433 km it will connect Sofia with coastal Varna. NCSIP has split the remaining 250 km of the project into eight parts and three stages. Currently the project is at an early stage and is expected to be completed after 2020;
- Cherno More (Black Sea) motorway – the 103 km motorway is planned to connect the major Bulgarian coastal cities Varna and Burgas. The project may not receive full financing under the OP Transport 2014-2020 and NCSIP will look for public-private partnership to complete the project.
The future development of Bulgaria’s railway network was presented by Stiliyan Krotnev of the National Railway Infrastructure Company. The country needs a total of EUR 4.0 bln to completely rehabilitate and upgrade its railway infrastructure but the OP Transport will provide only up to EUR 500 mln in 2014-2020, Krotnev said. The following projects are planned to be financed fully or partially by OP Transport:
- Completion of the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Plovdiv (southern Bulgaria) – Burgas railway. The project should start in 2014;
- Upgrade of Septemvri (southern Bulgaria) – Sofia railway to begin in 2014;
- Upgrade of Karnobat – Sindel railway to connect southeastern and northeastern Bulgaria. Construction works should begin in 2015;
- Rehabilitation of Ruse (on the Danube) – Varna railway. Work on the project is due to begin in 2014.