The airport in the Bulgarian capital Sofia is going to be offered on concession, according to Deputy Transport Minister, Kamen Kichev.
The Ministry is still mulling two options – to concession the entire airport or just the construction of the new cargo terminal. The concessioner is to also repay the loan, which was taken for the building of the new terminal.
Kichev admits the preparations to offer Bulgaria's airports, railway stations, and ports have taken quite a while, but points out several procedures have been launched.
The deal, involving the airport in the Danube city of Ruse – "Shtraklevo," is on its third restart, the Bulgarian daily 24 Chasa (24 Hours) writes Tuesday. The two tenders, announced by the previous cabinet, failed over the lack of bidders. Kichev now says the concession's requirements have been altered to make the airport more attractive and there are several candidates from Western Europe, including France and Switzerland.
The tender for the Rosenets port, now managed by the Lukoil Company, has been launched with negotiations with the oil company on how to continue its use. The procedure for the port Burgas 2A – the terminal for loose loads has started as well. The main condition for the potential concessionaire is to take over the management for a long period of time and repay the construction loan. There is more than one bidder here too, according to the Deputy Transport Minister.
Debates are being held in the other Black Sea city of Varna with the community, the Regional Governor and the Mayor to develop the port and offer it on concession along with a discussion if the port must be divided in two parts.
Preparations to concession the railway stations in the cities of Burgas and Plovdiv have also begun with the idea to combine them with bus stations. The tenders will be announced by the end of 2011, Kichev says.
The future of the Central Railway Station in Sofia remains unclear over the fact there is a combination of State and municipal ownership there.