Банкеръ Weekly


Varna to Get BGN12MN for Intermodal Terminal

Bulgaria's Ministry of Transport and Communications has in store just 12 million levs, VAT excluded, for for the first step towards the realization of intermodal terminal in Varna. The ministry has announced a tender for selecting a designer for the infrastructure development which will combine sea, road and rail stations.

According to the Minister, Daniel Papazoff, great interest from foreign companies with extensive experience in the design of ports has been expressed, which is a sure indicator of the success of the project. Independent participation of Bulgarian companies is virtually impossible because of the high threshold requirements. Apart from a turnover of 15 million levs for the last three years, candidates have to have contracts for the design of large port complexes with an annual capacity of at least 3 million tonnes of grain cargoes and/or 200,000 containers. For comparison now in Varna are processed about 130,000 containers per year.

Documents for participation in the competition will be submitted up until June 9. The selected firm will have nine months to present its complete vision for the terminal. It is unlikely, however, that the construction works will start in 2015, although this is the goal of the government. The problem is that there no funding has been found. Minister Papazoff hopes that for the purpose EU funds may be used, but for now the intermodal terminal is not included in the list of priority projects. And it is hardly likely that money will remain for it. However, it is assumed that it will cost about 200 million euros. Only the value of the quay wall will be about 50 million.

There is another obstacle. Currently, most of the sites where the facility will be built are managed by the National Company Railway Infrastructure and the State Enterprise "Port Infrastructure". Minister Papazoff however admitted that there will be a need for expropriation of at least three private land lots. This can be a serious problem, not only in financial terms but also because of the legal proceedings.

Otherwise it is intended to have a total of 5 separate berths - two for container handling, two for grain processing and one for mixed treatment. Minister Papazoff stated that a duty section will build a 150,000-tonne silo with a direct assembly line. The terminal will have depth at berths of 12.5 metres. New road infrastructure throughout the transport complex is also envisaged to be built and it will bring the traffic directly to the Hemus highway.


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