November 30 (SeeNews) - Turkey's Dogus Insaat is planning to bid in more motorway and underground extension projects in Bulgaria and is also looking into the high-potential markets of Albania, Kosovo, Croatia and Romania, company officials told SeeNews.
"In Bulgaria we have the metro project, but we are following up to upcoming tenders - motorways, again extension of metro," Dogus Insaat told SeeNews in a statement. The statement was released to coincide with the ABC South-East European Conference on Infrastructure in Focus of Internationalisation - New Perspectives for Interregional Cooperation between small and medium enterprises, held in Bulgaria's capital Sofia earlier this month.
Dogus Insaat (www.dogusinsaat.com.tr) will build 6.4 kilometres (km) of underground lines that will be part of the subway's second segment - a 18-km track with five stations in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
"We are following Trakia motorway because we took part in the first part of the Trakia motorway. We are also focused on Maritsa motorway and also we are following up the Vidin-Sofia railway," the company said.
Trakia Motorway is designed to link Bulgaria's western border with the Black Sea port city of Burgas. The 443-km motorway should be completed in the autumn of 2012. The 117-km Maritsa motorway is part of EU-defined transport corridor IV linking Turkey with central Europe.
EU member Bulgaria plans to call a tender for the fourth stretch of the Trakia motorway, worth 146 million euro ($218 million), in the winter of 2009-2010. The tenders for the first four sections of the Maritsa motorway, worth an estimated combined 209 million euro, are scheduled for next autumn.
These projects, part of the Pan-European transport corridors network crossing the country, are financed under the European Union's Operational Programme Transport (OPT). Projects under the OPT for Bulgaria for the 2009 - 2013 period are worth an estimated 990 million euro.
Dogus Insaat said it mostly focuses on EU-funded projects in the southeastern European region. The company considers the difficulties the Bulgarian government faces in receiving EU funds to be the biggest challenge at the moment.
In May the European Commission unblocked 115 million euro worth of payments to Bulgaria under the EU's ISPA pre-accession programme related to the construction of the Lyulin motorway and the preparation of projects for building roads that are part of European transport corridors.
Bulgaria plans to pour billions of euro into upgrading its infrastructure by 2015 to sustain fast economic development. It stands to receive 11 billion euro from the bloc's cohesion and structural funds until 2013.
In line with its regional strategy, Dogus Insaat is focusing on the Balkan countries which are physically close to Turkey. “At the moment we are present in Bulgaria, we have a presence in Romania with our banking group, Garanti Bank. We are building the new airport in Kiev, Ukraine, and investing in a marina-hotel complex in Croatia."
In Albania and Kosovo "we are following some projects but there's no concrete project yet. We are specialised in infrastructure projects – mainly roads, railways, metros, dams, hydropower plants, airports. We are also looking into public-private partnership projects, concession contracts with our international partners."
Dogus Insaat added that "the best way to overcome this economic crisis is by injecting money through the government in infrastructure. Once infrastructure and construction industry come out of the crisis, all the other sectors will follow."
($ = 0.6682 euro)