Bulgaria’s Transport Minister: Hemus Motorway Is Priority Task

Domestic | November 10, 2014, Monday // 11:33|  views

Bulgaria's Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski, photo by BGNES

Ivaylo Moskovski, Bulgaria’s Transport Minister, has said that the project for the Hemus motorway will be implemented under the Transport Operational Program regardless of the fact that it is plagued by a shortfall of BGN 500-600 M.

Moskovski, as cited by 24 Hours Daily, suggested that this option was more profitable as the country would seek loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

He argued that this type of financial assistance could be used for the entire motorway.

Bulgaria’s new Transport Minister vowed to fast-track work on railway projects in the new programming period, especially in the section Sofia-Septemvri.

“If it is implemented successfully, there will be an entire high-speed railway line from Sofia to Burgas. The most important task on my agenda will be to get the operational program for the 2014-2020 period approved,” he stated.

He pointed out that the finalization of Lot 4 of the Struma motorway between Sandanski and Kulata was also among his priority tasks, adding that the contractor, Greek company Aktor, would be replaced only if there was no chance of them completing the assignment.

Moskovski emphasized that he would strive to sign concession agreements for Bulgarian ports, stressing that the first port on the agenda was the port in Vidin.

He made clear that the authorities would seek to award concessions for the big railway stations like the ones in Varna and Plovdiv in a bid to secure funding for the replacement of trains.

Moskovski announced that he would strive to negotiate a loan from the World Bank for the restructuring of the Bulgarian State Railways company (BDZ).

He said that former Finance Minister Simeon Djankov had prevented him from signing an agreement for a loan of BGN 460 M from the World Bank in exchange for serious reform in the railway sector, including the privatization of the cargo unit of BDZ, BDZ Freight Service.

He did not rule out reshuffles at the boards of directors of transport companies.

Moskovski also explained that he would have two deputies, one in charge of transport, and the other one in charge of IT and communications, adding that he would be responsible for EU funds.

Tags: Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, operational program transport, BDZ, Bulgarian State Railways, Hemus motorway, World Bank, European Investment Bank, Struma motorway, concession


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