Bulgaria’s National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) signed on October 3 a contract worth close to 185 million leva (about 94.5 million euro) with the Plobur Consortium for the design and construction of signalling and telecommunications system on the railway line between the cities of Plovdiv and Bourgas.
The consortium is made up of Bulgaria’s GP Group, Marmet Ltd, and Italian and Polish subsidiaries of Canada’s transportation industry giant Bombardier.
The project is being co-funded with European Union funds, by the Cohesion Fund through the Operational Programme 2014-2020.
It involves renovating signalling systems at 18 railway stations, the construction of a new ECTS (European Train Control System) and CCTV system, a new train protection system in the section between Manole and Bourgas – a length of 271km, monitoring of rolling stock parameters, telecommunication equipment in the Plovdiv-Bourgas section, which is 293 km long, passenger information devices and GSM-R train communication system, a statement by the NRIC said.
The project also involves updates to signalling facilities at 15 stations, telecommunications facilities at 31 stations, as well as other items.
The implementation period for the project is 48 months, NRIC said.
The decision to award the contract to the Plobur Consortium was made earlier in 2019. The signing of the contract comes about a year after Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov called for GP Group to be “removed” from all projects and tenders involving EU money.
Borissov made the statement in October 2018, reports at the time said, because of investigations into the company in connection with EU funds.
GP Group has denied wrongdoing. Responding in September 2018 to media reports about it, the company said that it strongly rejects the involvement of its name in “outright manipulations and false statements”.