The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Tuesday that it signed a 40 million euro ($47 million) loan agreement for the modernisation of Bulgaria's Sofia International Airport with airport concessionaire SOF Connect.
The financing is supported by the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level, EIB said in a press release on Tuesday.
The EIB loan will be used to finance improvements to Sofia Airport's existing facilities and operations, rather than investment in airport capacity expansion, in line with the EIB Climate Bank Roadmap approved in November. The focus will be put on infrastructure modernisation and the upgrade of regulatory, safety and security components, including decarbonisation investments.
"It is encouraging to see airports investing in environmental, health and safety upgrades. We need this to happen if we are to make air transport sustainable, smart and resilient. Combining EIB and Connecting Europe Funds means we can maximise the impact of our investment towards this goal,” European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said in the press release.
In July 2020, Bulgaria's government signed a contract for a 35-year concession for the development, upgrade, maintenance, management and operation of Sofia Airport with SOF Connect, a consortium led by French investment firm Meridiam.