Bulgaria's Eco Min Vows Cleaner Black Sea through Water PlantsEnvironment | December 21, 2011, Wednesday // 19:31| views
Bulgarian PM Borisov (left) peeps in the wastewater plant contract signed by Eco Minister Nona Karadzhova and Balchik Mayor Nikolay Angelov. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's Environment Ministry has signed three contracts for new wastewater treatment plants along the Black Sea coast worth some BGN 100 M.
"We are going to have cleaner water, a cleaner sea. People will live in better conditions, with sewage," Bulgaria's Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova declared upon the singing of the contracts for the projects, which are to be funded under EU Operational Program Environment.
Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov also attended the signing ceremony.
Bulgaria's Black Sea resort of Golden Sands will be granted EUR 48 M in EU funding for the modernization of its wastewater treatment plant.
At the same time, the Balchik Municipality will get BGN 32 M to reconstruct the wastewater facility in the Black Sea resort of Albena, and another BGN 18.6 M will go to the construction of 22 kilometers of water supply and sewerage network and the expansion of the wastewater plant in the northeastern city of Tervel.
Golden Sands currently relies on a wastewater facility built back in the 1970s, which has a capacity to service 13 000 residents, despite the fact that it serviced an estimated 18 000 – 19 000 at the time of its launch.
During peak seasons in the summer, the outdated wastewater facility services up to 32 000 people in Golden Sands only, given that it also receives flows from the wastewater collection systems of nearby resorts like Sunny Day, Alen Mak, Riviera, Zhurnalist and Chaika.
Karadzhova announced figures for the absorption of EU money for environment by Bulgaria in the past 10 years; in her words, since 2002 under the pre-accession ISPA program, and since 2007 under EU Operational Program Environment, a total of BGN 1.2 B (appr. EUR 600 M) have been paid for projects in Bulgaria. Of those, BGN 800 M have been absorbed in the past 2 years, i.e. since she took over.
"The trust that we have built at the European Commission is very important. This gave the EC grounds to extend the financial memorandums by about 1 year, thus saving the Bulgarian state budget directly over BGN 56 M. The indirect potential sanctions for the fact that we have failed to meet the deadlines would have been at least BGN 100-200 M," the Environment Minister said.
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