Creation date: November 10, 2016
Today, at the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), a key grant agreement for a Bulgarian project was signed, releasing over €151 million of funding for important upgrades on the Kostenets–Septemvri section of the Sofia-Plovdiv railway line, along the Orient-East Med TEN-T Core Network Corridor.
The project is part of those supported by the EU under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport instrument and was selected under the 2015 CEF Transport calls, which made €7.6 billion available to finance projects to improve European transport infrastructure, promote transport safety, develop intelligent transport systems and mitigate the environmental impact of the sector.
INEA Director Dirk Beckers, officially welcomed the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria Ivailo Moskovski and the Deputy Director General of the Bulgarian national railway infrastructure company, Hristo Alexiev to the signature ceremony, noting: "I am very happy to welcome you here today and of course look forward to many years of mutual collaboration. The project we are green-lighting today was selected for its importance in modernising a key section of Bulgarian infrastructure which is part of a broader European network. It is only through these kind of projects, which deliver not only locally but EU-wide, that we will be able to deliver the transport infrastructure network that business and citizens of the EU need."
Mr Moskovski, echoed his comments, stating: "This project has strategic importance, not only for Bulgaria but for all of the South-East European Countries. The Kostenetz-Septemvri railway section is part of the line connecting the Serbian border with the Turkish and Greek borders, as well as the Black Sea port of Bourgas. These two railway lines have a major priority for our country and we plan to finish them completely by 2022.”
The project signed today concerns important infrastructure upgrades to a 24.4 km stretch of Bulgarian railway lying between Kostenets and Septemvri on the Orient-East Med TEN-T Core Network Corridor. The upgrade work will, once completed, remove a major bottleneck on this section of the line which does not meet the technical standards for passenger and freight transport.