Bulgaria's government has given the green light to the defence ministry to sign a deal with Germany's Lurssen Werft for the construction of two multi-functional modular patrol ships for the Bulgarian Navy worth an estimated 984 million levs ($550.6 million/503.1 million euro), local media reported.
The contract is expected to be signed on November 9 or November 11, business news outlet Capital.bg reported on Thursday.
The government's decision was taken at a closed-door meeting held after the regular weekly siting of the cabinet on Wednesday, according to Capital.bg.
Earlier this year, the defence ministry's decision to award the deal to Lurssen Werft was challenged before court by the other bidder for the contract - Italy's Fincantieri.
The two new patrol ships will replace old Russian-made vessels in the Bulgarian Navy fleet which can no longer be repaired or modernised.
The tender was initially launched in 2017, and Varna-based MTG Dolphin shipyard was selected in November of that year to sign a contract. In December 2017, however, MTG Dolphin withdrew from the negotiations with the government due to a cut in the maximum financing allocated to the project.