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Nov 19, 2007 16:24 EEST
SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 19 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian company Danube Industrial Park, majority-owned by local industrial and financial group Alfa Finance Holding, said on Monday it opened a new ferry route linking Bulgaria and Romania, following an investment of over 13 million euro ($19 million).
The line between the Danube cities of Silistra in Bulgaria and Calarasi in Romania aims to enhance trade between the two European Union newcomers.
Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in January, are connected by a single bridge over the Danube between the cities of Ruse and Giurgiu. The construction of a second bridge, between Vidin in Bulgaria and Calafat in Romania, is yet to begin. The two towns are linked by a ferry. Ferries also run between Oryahovo in Bulgaria and Bechet on the opposite bank of the river.
"The new ferry route will create effective transport corridor for trucks from Turkey to Ukraine and back," Danube Industrial Park said in a statement.
Danube Industrial Park has built the ferry terminal under a 35-year concession deal with the Transport Ministry.
"The company plans to invest some 13 million euro in the adjascent infrastructure by the end of 2009", company's media relations officer told SeeNews.
Under the concession contract, the first ever signed in Bulgaria under the build-operate-transfer model, the concessionaire should invest no less than 5.5 million levs in the facility over the full term of the contract.
The terminals on both sides of the river were built underthe European Union-backed pre-accession PHARE cross-border cooperation programme.
(1 euro= 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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