Bulgaria Likely to Impose Sanctions over Delay of Lyulin Highway

Business | September 20, 2010, Monday // 16:00|  views

Bulgarian PM Borisov with part of the uncompleted Lyulin Highway in the background. Photo by BGNES

The Turkish "Mapa Cengiz" has claimed that the southern arc of the junction "Daskalovo" of Bulgaria's Lyulin Highway will be open by the end of the week, the head of the Road Infrastructure Agency has announced.

The agency is performing another check on the Lyulin Highway and has detected a new delay of 20 days in the construction of the third tunnel of the highway.

The reason for the delay is that the Turkish consortium "Mapa Cengiz" has started later the construction works.

According to Bozhidar Yotov, head of the Road Infrastructure Agency, there might be sanctions against the engineer of the supervising US-UK consortium "Louis Berger-Mott Macdonald" because a warning had already been issued.

"If the reports we collect are enough, I think there should be sanctions, which I will define and let you know," Yotov told journalists on Monday.

He also explained that the latest check by the Road Infrastructure Agency has showed that 13 km of the Lyulin Highway have been finished and there are problems with 7 km of the trace.

"The strengthening of the slopes between the 8th and the 10th km is also a problem," Yotov said.

He claimed he would not compromise the quality of the construction at the expense of the absorption of funds under the ISPA program. Yotov added that he ordered people to control the quality of the construction every day.

The head of the Road Infrastructure Agency pointed out that Bulgaria should absorb EUR 145 M under the EU ISPA program by the end of the year for the construction of the Lyulin Highway in order not to lose any funding.

Data from the Finance Ministry shows that until September 1, Bulgaria has absorbed EUR 92 M, which is 48% of the funding for the project.

According to the contract between "Mapa Cengiz" and Bulgaria, the Lyulin Highway has to be substantially complete by the end of 2010 and absolutely complete by May 15, 2011.

At the beginning of September, Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov hardened his tone towards the Turkish investors after he found a new delay of 70 days in the construction of the highway and promised to inspect the work of "Mapa Cengiz" every 20 days.

"I have made it clear that if this company fails I will not let a single Turkish company to work in Bulgaria any more," Borisov declared in a harsh tone.

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Tags: Lyulin highway, Bozhidar Yotov, Boyko Borisov, Mapa Cengiz, Turkish, Road Infrastructure Agency, highway, construction


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