Bulgaria seeks Chinese financing on its rail projects

During a meeting with the president of the Chinese Railway Group Limited (CREC), Zongyan Zhang, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Transport, Velik Zanchev, discussed the main railway projects for which Bulgaria is looking for financing. Deputy Minister Zanchev stressed on key cooperation with acknowledged companies such as CREC, with proven capacity in the construction of railway infrastructure.
CREC representative said that his company is very interested in deepening co-operation with Bulgaria within the 16 + 1 Initiative. He mentioned that Europe-China rail corridor is under construction and hopes that Bulgaria will offer suitable routes for inclusion in the corridor. “China has a keen interest in building a platform for sharing of Chinese experience and training staff in Bulgaria. CREC is ready to discuss funding for Bulgarian rail projects as well as signing of capacity building agreements,” Zhang said.
For the construction and modernisation of all priority lines, on TEN-T core network projects, by 2030, Bulgaria needs a EUR 4.3 billion investment. Among country’s important rail projects envisage the modernisation of the railway network infrastructure in Northern Bulgaria, including Ruse – Varna, Sofia – Varna and Ruse -Dimitrovgrad.
Vidin-Sofia railway project is the most expensive with the indicative value of EUR 2.31 billion. Another expensive and important project envisages the modernisaion of Sofia – Kulata railway line, part of Eastern/Mediterranean Corridor, with an estimated value of EUR 1.22 billion.
Recently, Bulgaria has launched the tender for Orizovo-Mihailovo railway section, under the second lot of Plovdiv-Bourgas project which includes the rehabilitation and modernisation of 296 km. The project is estimated at EUR 345 million and it should be completed by 2020. In addition, the National Railway Infrastructure Company will also announce tenders for the rehabilitation of several railway stations and installation of ERTMS/ETCS along the main railway lines.

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