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Minister Moskovski: BDZ Begins Preparation to Purchase New Trains with Funds of OP Transport

5 June 2012 A+AA-

New passenger trains will be purchased in 2014 using European financing. This has become possible after Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Ivailo Moskovski proposed Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) Passenger Services as beneficiary under Priority Axis 5 of OP Transport. “Our country should make efforts to modernize its railway transport and pull it out of the heavy crisis,” Minister Moskovski said at a meeting of the OP Transport Monitoring Committee. As he put it, one of the mechanisms for modernization of BDZ is the purchase of a new rolling stock that could be done through the EU structural funds.

“Along with the investments in the railway infrastructure, the purchase of new trains would give a radically new European appearance to the Bulgarian railways,” Moskovski said. The company begins preparations so as to carry out a bidding procedure for the purchase of new trains at the beginning of the next programming period 2014-2020. “I hope that the terms would be cut and BDZ would manage to carry out the tenders already next year,” Minister Moskovski said.

The representatives of the European Commission backed the Bulgarian proposal to include BDZ Passenger Services as beneficiary under the programme. “We will allow the company use European financing and turn into a modern and working structure, said Jeroen Van Oel of DG Regional Policy with the European Commission. In his opinion, this project would stabilize BDZ.

The team of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications has been working hard for some months now to find out the possibilities for obtaining European financing for a new rolling stock. Meetings were held with experts of the Jaspers initiative who gave recommendations and voiced readiness to provide long-term technical assistance to the Ministry. The European experience in the preparation and implementation of such projects is also being studied.

At the Monitoring Committee meeting, it was decided to extend the Sofia Underground from Mladost 1 to the Business Park. “This becomes possible due to the saved funds from conducted bidding procedures,” Minister Moskovski said. He specified that about 55 million euro have been saved so far and these can be invested in the new line. The section will have three stations. It will have a length of about 2.8 km and will be built by the end of the programming period,” the Minister added. Metropoliten EAD said that it is in a final stage of building the section from Obelya to Cherni Vruh Boulevard. At the same time, the passengers transported along the recently launched Mladost–Tsarigradsko Chausse section exceeded by far the projected figure. „The first two underground trains, purchased with funds under the programme, were supplied during the past month. The rest are also expected to arrive,” said Metropoliten CEO, eng. Stoyan Bratoev.

The European Commission voiced satisfaction with the good pace of absorption of the funds under OP Transport. A total of 92% of the programme’s budget have been contracted, which is equivalent to over 1.843 billion euro. “About 590 million euro or about 30% of the total budget have been paid up, while about a quarter of the budget is certified,” Minister Moskovski stated. He said that 11 infrastructure projects and the project on the establishment of a River Information System in the Bulgarian section of the Danube River are in the course of implementation. Of these, eight are “big” projects as the European Commission has approved seven. The application form of the Struma Motorway project, lots 1, 2 and 4 is being assessed by the European Commission.

During the meeting of the Monitoring Committee it transpired that activities, related to the establishment of integrated systems for information and management of transport within the Trans-European Transport Network will be included in the scope of Priority Axis 2, while the Strategic Infrastructure Projects national company was included as beneficiary. The scope of Priority Axis 3 “Improvement of intermodality for passenger and freight” was complemented by activities, related to the rehabilitation of railway station complexes along the Trans-European Transport Network.


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