Bulgarias Transport Ministry and Strabag to Seek Amicable Agreement over Terminal Construction

17. Juli 2006, 00:00

Bulgarias transport ministry will cede to a Strabag request to accept work on the new passenger terminal of the...

Bulgarias transport ministry will cede to a Strabag request to accept work on the new passenger terminal of the Sofia International Airport in stages, a source close to the matter told Bulgarian media. Thus, the two parties will avoid international arbitration over Strabags delays in handing the terminal over.

The transport ministry conditioned the move on the pledge that the Austrian developer will complete the terminal and fix defects, which emerged in the process of construction. Several months ago, the roof of the new terminal collapsed.

The project was supposed to be completed by August last year. At the time, Strabag also wanted a rewrite of the project costs citing the rise in international metals prices. Bulgarian government agreed to a cost overrun of EUR 4.68 million.

The new terminal was initially meant to cost EUR 110 million, of which EUR 60 million came from the European Investment Bank, EUR 38.1 million from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and EUR 50 million from EUs ISPA programme.

The two parties will meet for a new round of talks this week. If Strabag does not back out of some of its demands, the issue may again reach court, experts from the transport ministry said.

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