BDZ Passengers, part of the state-owned Holding BDZ Group, will receive BGN 100 million (EUR 51.1 million) for the acquisition of new rolling stock in 2020. The announcement was made by the government in Sofia. The funds will be used to purchase 41 new EMUs.
Earlier this month, the Bulgarian government decided to extend the reimbursable aid, of BGN 103.7 million (EUR 53 million), to Holding BDZ to pay its debt to bondholders. BDZ will use the aid to cover outstanding obligations on its 120 million euro bond, which was due last year.
In addition, on July 5, this year, Bulgaria opened a tender for the award of a 35-year concession contract for the operation of Sofia International Airport, worth EUR 3.9 billion euro. Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has repeatedly stated that his country intends to use part of the proceeds of the concession to finance Holding BDZ and its subsidiaries. Thus, Bulgaria hopes to get BGN 550 million (EUR 282 million) from this concession.
Minister Moskovski also announced that BDZ’s debt was reduced from BGN 800 million (EUR 410 million) to just a little over BGN 100 million (EUR 51.1 million).
We remind that in April this year, Vladimir Vladimirov, CEO of Holding BDZ announced that the objective of the railway passenger transport company is the acquisition of new rolling stock. The procedure will be carried out in two stages, thus, according to the first stage, 41 EMUs will be purchased. In the second stage, a total of 44 units will be purchased.
The Sofia government can only provide financing for the first stage of the acquisitions.