UP TO USD15MN MIGHT BE ECONOMIZED FROM THE NEW BOURGAS PORT
Between USD10-15MN might be economized from the realization of the project for the expansion of the Bourgas Port, Deputy Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Zlatolina Moukova announced. She confirmed that the working group is considering the possibilities for economizing and declared the Government's firm intention to realize the project.The Ministry of Environment and Waters should submit its evaluation about the potential consequences for the environment from the project's implementation.Japan's representatives showed understanding and pointed out they would not be sticking to the initial agreements if the project has a negative effect on the environment and leisure industry in the region, Ms. Moukova added.The expansion of the Bourgas Port has been discussed since 1991 and the first ideas came from abroad. During the past years the strategic significance of the port, connecting Southern and Central Europe with Asia and the Middle East was appraised.The porject's cost finally reached USD154.6MN. USD120MN will come from the loan agreement, signed in 1998 with the Japanese Bank for International Development, and the balance of about USD34MN should be ensured by Bulgaria. Initially, however, the port's expansion was pre-estimated at some USD11MN. Debates were held over the last few months regarding the increased costs of the project by USD25MN and the project could even fail. The Government presently declares its support for the project but points out there is no money in the 2002 budget for the port.According to Ms. Moukova, the costs for the project's implementation could be cut down by reducing one berth place and postponing the delivery of equipment, which is worth USD30MN.USD25MN, ensured by the loan agreement, has been spent on the project so far.