Bulgaria plans to transport agricultural products, petroleum and chemical products and other goods via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK), Trend learned from Bulgarian Transport Ministry.
"Bulgaria is located on traditional trade routes between Europe and Asia with a relatively well-developed transport network, having a very good bilateral and multilateral cooperation with its neighboring countries in both Europe and Asia. Two TEN-T core corridors cross our country. Investing in a transport infrastructure’s upgrade in West-East/North-South direction would strengthen Euro-Asian transport connectivity offering services of better quality and larger capacity along the trade ways between European and Asian markets via Bulgarian territory. Developing the West-East direction via the Black Sea and Turkey, we focus on provision of transport services in support of the trade to the Caspian and Far-East States. We expect to transport agricultural products, wine, vegetable oils, cosmetics, petroleum and chemical products," said the ministry.
Further, the Transport Ministry said that Bulgaria is actively working to modernize the existing transport networks through large-scale investments in the sector.
"The crossroad location of the country is a serious prerequisite for the development of the transit traffic in the directions of the Trans-European Transport Corridors. Because of its key location, 50 percent of the traffic in Bulgaria is in transit," said the ministry.
"So far, Bulgaria has built a large part of the railway corridor linking the port of Burgas with Serbia and Turkey. By 2023, the entire completion of these directions is expected. As a result of our good cooperation with the European Commission, the railway lines to Turkey and to the port of Burgas are included in the main Trans-European Transport Network and are being built with European funding."
Both Black Sea ports in Varna and Burgas have terminals for the transfer of goods from sea to land transport (ro-ro terminals), said the ministry.
"At Varna Port there is also a ferryboat complex, which is a unique transport facility allowing changing of the wheelsets and switching from a standard European (1435 mm) to a Russian (1520 mm) track-gauge. With this advantage, the terminal offers one of the shortest and cheapest freight routes between Europe and Asia."
With the support of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the whole government, Bulgaria is also working actively to build Corridor 8 connecting Adriatic with the Black Sea and Corridor 10 via Salzburg-Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade-Nis-Sofia-Thessaloniki, according to the Transport Ministry.
"The Bulgarian and Macedonian governments signed an agreement for the construction of Corridor 8 and our country is committed to building its part of the corridor by 2027. At present, the National Railway Infrastructure Company is making the technical design of the Bulgarian section of the corridor," said the ministry.
Another project of the government with high added value is the realization of the transport corridor Rousse-Varna-Burgas-Kavala-Alexandroupolis-Thessaloniki.
"The two countries [Bulgaria and Greece] work together to build this strategic transport link that will allow freight transport from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea and the Danube River. Bulgaria and Greece have already participated in several meetings with the European Commission where details of the project were discussed," said the ministry.
The official opening ceremony of the BTK railway was held in Baku Oct. 30, 2017. The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The railway’s peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At an initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.