July 5, 2018 / 11:37 AM / a year ago

Bulgaria opens tender for Sofia Airport concession

SOFIA, July 5 (Reuters) - Bulgaria has opened a tender for a 35-year concession to run Sofia Airport, the largest hub in the Balkan country, tender documents showed on Thursday.

Offers for the concession should be filed by Oct. 22, the tender notice published in the EU’s official journal showed. The total estimated value of the concession, including investment, is about 3.9 billion euros ($4.6 billion), the notice showed.

Bulgaria’s government gave a green light to re-launch the tender this month. Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has said Sofia will seek investment of at least 600 million euros and the construction of a new passenger terminal.

Sofia Airport serviced more than 6.5 million passengers last year, up 30 percent on an annual basis, mostly due to increased traffic from low-cost airlines.

German airport operator Fraport, which has stakes in the airports in the Bulgarian Black Sea cities of Varna and Burgas, said in March it would study the tender if it was re-launched.

In a previous tender attempt that was scrapped last year, Turkey’s Limak Holding, Russia’s VTB Capital and Switzerland’s Flughafen Zuerich were planning to jointly bid, sources close to the issue said.

Turkish airports group TAV, in which French Groupe ADP has a 38 percent stake, had also expressed an interest, according to local media.

The government plans to use some of the proceeds from the concession to modernise debt-ridden state railway operator BDZ.

$1 = 0.8556 euros Reporting by Angel Krasimirov and Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Mark Potter

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