TRANSPORT SEEKS EUR5.5BN TILL YEAR 2015
The strategy for the development of the national transport system till the year 2015 projects investments worth EUR5.45BN, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Nikolay Vassilev announced on Tuesday (March 15) during the public discussion of the document, drafted by the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications in cooperation with the Dutch company ECORYS-NEI. Bulgaria is the only country in Europe through which five of all ten transport corridors pass and this makes it an important geostrategic partner, Mr. Vassilev pointed out. If this strategy is realized our country will become a leader in Southeastern Europe, he added. For the purpose, however, the outworn transport fleet needs to be renewed through a series of measures.The strategy projects eight priorities. Rehabilitation and modernization of transport infrastructure and introduction of new technologies in the transport park to ensure safe and environmentally friendly transport are among the most important ones. However, large-scale investments are necessary for realization of these targets. They may come from the European funds and other financial institutions, Mr. Vassilev specified. EUR2BN is needed for renewal of motorways. They are expected to come mainly (investments of EUR1.5BN) from the private sector. EUR2.2BN will be necessary for the railway transport, to be provided basically from the public sector. Only EUR200MN could be expected from private firms. The State should extend also EUR200MN for the airports, while private investments will amount to EUR300MN. These funds will come mainly from the concessions of the airports in the seaside cities Varna and Bourgas, and the concessioning of the airports in Plovdiv and Gorna Oryahovitsa. EUR200MN form the public and private sector are expected in Bulgarian ports by the end of 2015. Private investments will come after the concessioning of 24 ports and port terminals.The strategy projects also that the State should maintain its role of a regulator. Its main task is to prepare and implement projects connected with the utilization of European funds after Bulgaria joins the EU in 2007.