Bulgaria releases water and sewerage strategy

Bulgaria's Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works estimates the country will require a total of 6.8 billion leva (US$3.9 billion) to modify its outdated water supply and sewage system in order to conform to European Union standards.

Sep 5th, 2003

Sept. 5, 2003 -- Bulgaria's Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works estimates the country will require a total of 6.8 billion leva (US$3.9 billion) to modify its outdated water supply and sewage system in order to conform to European Union standards. Bulgaria plans to join the EU in 2007.

Minister of Regional Development Valentin Tservski discussed water and sewer sector needs yesterday in a press conference held to release a strategy for water supply management and development. The strategy will be submitted to other ministries for approval.

The strategy includes 3.37 leva to rehabilitate the aging network and reduce water loss. The network must receive investment of 2 billion leva by 2010 for network rehabilitation, as a Ministry analysis discovered 20 percent of the water supply network is in extremely poor condition. The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works strategy also calls for 103 million leva from the national budget to implement the first stage of the upgrade by 2010. The plan anticipates an additional 737 million leva will come from European Union pre-accession funds and 1,060 million leva from concession charges.

The Ministry plans to construct sewers in cities of more than 30,000 people as well as to build of wastewater treatment plants.

Bulgarian officials intend to raise at least 40% of the required funds through private investment in the form of concessions, operation and management contracts, and joint ventures. Bulgaria expects to acquire the remaining support through EU grants and national funds.

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works will establish an executive agency for water supply and sewerage to coordinate the implement the strategy.

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