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67, William Gladstone Str.
1000 Sofia
Fax: +359 2 988 4820

ope@moew.government.bg
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Sep 25, 2008

A NEW CALL FOR PROPOSALS UNDER PRIORITY AXIS 2 OF OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME ENVIRONMENT 2007-2013 WILL BE OPENED BY THE END OF OCTOBER

A new call for proposals under priority axis 2 of operational Programme Environment 2007-2013 (OPE) will be opened by the end of October, as it has been announced today during the working meeting held in the National Palace of Culture. 58 municipalities submitted project proposals on the closed call for proposals - technical assistance for development of landfill investment projects.

There is a shortage of funds for activities in waste sector but it may become even greater if Sofia waste treatment plant project is to be financed by OPE. The project is included in the indicative list of the operational programme and we have never refused its financing, but the opportunity for construction through public-private partnership should be considered too, this way saving funds for other activities in waste sector, highlighted Minister Chakarov.

Approximately 290 million Bulgarian leva are needed for the construction of regional landfills. For other waste management activities such as closure and rehabilitation of municipal landfills that do not comply with the new requirements of the environmental legislation, cleaning of unregulated landfills, construction of waste treatment facilities, and construction of transfer stations etc. nearly 780 million Bulgarian leva are necessary or more than 1 billion Bulgarian leva for all activities related to adaptation of the waste treatment and disposal system. The construction of the remaining 21 regional landfills is more urgent. It is planned 367 million euro, provided under OPE, to be used preferably for the construction of regional landfills, the Minister explained. He stressed that it is not irrelevant what funding is going to be used for the construction of those landfills, because if a grant under OPE is provided, trash fee won’t be increased, as only operating and not investment costs will be paid.

At present, Bulgaria is not threatened by sanctions in relation to the implementation of the commitments to the EU in the field of waste management, Minister Chakarov announced. We will not allow sanctions by the EU in this area because we are working to establish an operating waste treatment system till the middle of the next year, meeting all the requirements of European and national legislation, the Minister said. He explained that it is of greater importance to start the construction of the remaining 21 regional landfills. If they are not ready, we will rely on the existing waste treatment and disposal system, which will be brought into compliance with all environmental criteria.

From the 55 regional landfills, planned to be constructed, 27 regional landfills were built, 7 are under construction. Regarding the remaining 21 landfills, seven of them - in Kardzhali, Botevgrad, Yambol, Gabrovo, Kocherinovo, Kostinbrod and Pleven, are at an advanced stage of preparation and construction works can start by the end of this year. The construction of eight other landfills - in Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Levski, Byala, Lukovit, Kostenets, Stara Zagora and Pleven is expected to start early next year. As landfills with lagging preparations Minister Chakarov designated those in Pazardzhik, Haskovo, Provadia, Vidin, Burgas and Razlog.

I believe that it is not difficult to overcome the problems and with our common efforts and good organization on behalf of the municipalities the procedures can be pushed forward, Dzhevdet Chakarov said.