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Chinese investors eye transport infrastructure projects in Bulgaria - ministry

Chinese investors eye transport infrastructure projects in Bulgaria - ministry Photo: Bulgaria's Ministry of Regional Development/ All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 19 (SeeNews) - Chinese investors are interested in taking part in transport infrastructure and urban planning projects in Bulgaria, the regional development ministry in Sofia said in a press release.

"The aim of our visit is to find together with the Bulgarian state a suitable option for the implementation of certain projects, including in the field of transport and urban planning," the ministry quoted the chairman of China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), Fang Qiuchen, as saying during a meeting with Bulgaria's deputy minister of regional development Nikolay Nankov on Monday. 

Representatives of China's biggest transport infrastructure companies and banks are currently on a visit to Bulgaria with a serious interest in making investments in the country, Qiuchen said. 

Among the projects that can be potentially implemented with the help of Chinese investors Nankov mentioned Russe-Veliko Tarnovo motorway, the road tunnel under the Shipka peak, as well as Cherno More motorway planned to link the coastal cities of Varna and Burgas. 

"Those projects have a high potential for implementation through public-private partnership," Nankov said. 

In 2017, government officials said that Bulgaria will aim to build a motorway connecting Veliko Tarnovo, in the central-northern part of the country, to Russe, on the border with Romania, by 2022. 

The cost of construction works of the Russe-Veliko Tarnovo motorway is expected to exceed 2 billion levs ($1.1 billion/1.0 billion euro). The planned motorway, approximately 130 km in length, will become part of pan-European transport Corridor 9 stretching from Helsinki in Finland and Alexandroupolis in Greece. 

In 2014, the Bulgarian government said that unnamed Chinese investors had expressed their interest in taking part in the construction of a 3.2-kilometre long tunnel under the Shipka peak in central Bulgaria. The construction of the tunnel is estimated at 150 million euro and is set to be completed by 2020, the government said at the time. 

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)