FIRST SOD OF THE NEW SOFIA AIRPORT TURNED BY TRANSPORT MINISTER
The Minister of Transport and Telecommucications Plamen Petrov turned the first sod at the site of the Sofia Airport's new terminal at 12.00 hrs on Wednesday (February 5). He was helped by a powerful excavator, which marked the construction site. A jubilee coin with the image of St. Ivan Rilsky on it was sealed in a metal capsule, that will be built un in the foundation of the new building. The net worth of the construction contract amounts to EUR110,608,242.19 евро. EUR60MN of it released by the European Investment Bank, and EUR50MN is granted by the European Union's ISPA programme. The balance comes as co-financing by the budget. According to the schedule for the construction work, included in the contract withe German-Austrian company Strabag, the building of the new airport's terminal with adjacent infrastructure should be completed within 22 months. The real exploitation of the facility is expected to start in the beginning of 2005. Two thousand working positions will be opened during the construction, and dozens of Bulgarian firms will be hired as supplieres and sub-contractors. The official ceremony was attended by the Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bulgaria Dimitris Kourkoulas, ministers, the Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiansky, and representatives of the chief building contractor Strabag-International.