Outgoing Bulgaria Govt Grants 35-Concession on Plovdiv Railway Station

Business | March 6, 2013, Wednesday // 13:26|  views

Mirolyub Stolarski, owner of the Karat-S bus company, and holder of a 95% stake in the DZZD Zhelezopatna Gara Plovdiv consortium. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's outgoing government has awarded a 35-year concession on the Central Railway Station in the southern city of Plovdiv to the DZZD Zhelezopatna Gara Plovdiv consortium (DZZD Plovdiv Railway Station).

The tie-in includes the Karat-S bus company owned by Mirolyub Stolarski (with a 95% stake) and construction company Biad-S of Svetoslav Glosov, Chair of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (5% stake).

Glosov told Capital daily that the consortium would renovate the building of the railway station because it had a historical and architectural value.

He made clear that the waiting room, the central platform, and the underpass would be repaired and a new bus station, a 3-star hotel, new commercial sites, and bars and restaurants would be built on the station square.

The Plovdiv Municipality had objections to the concession procedure, claiming that the new bus station would be a rival to the existing nearby bus stations Rodopi and Yug.

The local administration also feared that the activity of the concessionaire would obstruct the repair of the railroads with EU funds and the construction of a road underpass under the railway station.

Bulgaria's Transport Ministry, however, assured the Plovdiv municipality that the concession contract would not block its plans, Capital daily informs.

The new concessionaire of the Plovdiv Central railway station is to invest BGN 11.2 M, VAT excluded, for the entire concession period, with BGN 9.85 M to be invested in the first four years.

The deadline of the concession procedure for the Plovdiv Central railway station was extended once due to the lack of candidates.

The requirements for the candidates included proof of turnover of no less than BGN 90 M for the past three years, a book value of assets of BGN 30 M, at least three years of experience in passenger transport service and three years of experience in construction works.

Stolarski's Karat-S bus company fulfilled the criteria thanks to its contracts with the Sofia Municipality for servicing 24 city lines.

The contracts for 16 city lines were terminated in 2012 with a scandal, with Karat-S nearly receiving interest to the tune of BGN 2.6 M instead of the actually due BGN 600 000.

The scandal resulted in two dismissals of senior officials of the municipally-owned Sofia Urban Mobility Centre company and final warnings for the two Deputy Sofia Mayors in charge of transport.

At its Wednesday sitting, Bulgaria's outgoing government will also terminate the concession procedure for the Tutrakan port terminal due to the lack of candidates.

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Tags: Mirolyub Stolarski, bus company, bus lines, Sofia Municipality, Plovdiv, railway station, concession, Transport Ministry, Plovdiv Municipality, Bulgarian government, Tutrakan, port terminal


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