Bulgaria's NRIC signs 260 mln euro deals for railway section upgrades

Bulgaria's NRIC signs 260 mln euro deals for railway section upgrades

Bulgaria's state-owned National Company Railway Infrastructure (NRIC) said that it has signed two deals, worth a combined 508.1 million levs ($296.8 million/259.8 million euro) for the modernisation of parts of the Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway line.

The higher-priced contract, worth some 394.5 million levs, VAT excluded, was awarded to a consortium comprising three units of Austia-based Strabag - Strabag Bulgaria, the local branch of Poland's Strabag, Czech-based Strabag Rail, as well as Bulgaria's GP Group, NRIC said in a statement on Friday.

According to registry agency data, Strabag units control 51% in the awared tie-up combined, while GP Group holds 49%.

The deal envisages works on an 11.2-kilometre railway section, including replacing the railroad tracks, the construction of eight single-tube double-track tunnels with a combined lenght of about 5,500 metres, two viaducts and 11 bridges. The works are expected to be completed within 64 months.

The lower-priced contract, worth some 113.6 million levs, was signed with a tie-up including local companies VDH, Ingstroyengineering and the Bulgarian unit of Austria's Bitumina. The tie-up will carry out construction works on a  20.2-kilometre section of the Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway line, including replacing the railway tracks and building four overpasses, three bridges and 39 culverts. The works are expected to be completed within 48 months.

According to registry agency data, VDH holds 34% in the tie-up, while Ingstroyengineering and Bitumina Bulgaria hold 33% each.

Bulgaria will invest some 6.5 billion levs in the construction of railway infrastructure on its territory jointly with the European Union (EU) between 2021 and 2027, Neli Andreeva, director of strategic development and investment projects at NRIC was quoted as saying earlier this month by local news outlet Investor.bg.

The second stage of the modernisation of the Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway section is among the projects that will benefit from EU financing under the future operational programme Transport Connectivity 2021-2027, Andreeva said at the time.

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