Sofia, Bulgaria, April 16, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and EBRD, have been asked by the Government
of Bulgaria to provide advice to the Ministry of Transport to design and
tender the Sofia Airport concession in line with the best practices. Five
internationally known investors have submitted bids for the Sofia Airport
concession, launched by the Government of Bulgaria last year.
“We are witnessing Bulgaria emerge as an
attractive investment destination in the region,” said Fabrizio Zarcone,
World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
“Strong institutions, combined with the implementation of EU regulations,
level the playing field, unlocking Bulgaria’s economic potential.”
“The EBRD is pleased to see that the concession
has attracted five international players with extensive experience and
strong track record in the sector,” said Larisa Manastirli, EBRD
Director for Bulgaria. “The aim is to choose a solid international operator
with the ability to develop the airport to best meet the needs of travellers
and the Bulgarian economy. This will be good news and a signal to other
investors eyeing to come to Bulgaria.”
with our partners, our Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory Facility was
set up to help foster bankable PPPs in a competitive environment. This
response to the Sofia tender is quite encouraging”, said Matthew Jordan
Tank, Director for Sustainable Infra Policy and Project Preparation
at EBRD in London.
Over the last two decades, there has been
a worldwide trend towards private sector management of airports, many leveraging
the public-private partnership (PPP) model, including concession contracts.
In Europe in 2016, 41% of all airports had private shareholders—a 22%
increase since 2010.
“By attracting private sector investment
and expertise, airport concessions can deliver significant economic benefits
for countries by stimulating tourism growth, improving cargo handling,
upgrading the quality of service for passengers, and reducing the fiscal
burden on governments,” said Georgi Petrov, IFC PPP Transaction
Advisory Manager for Europe and Central Asia.
The Government of Bulgaria intends to achieve
similar outcomes for the country through a concession for the Sofia Airport.
Under the concession, all airport infrastructure and assets remain publicly
owned; the private partner will be granted the rights to operate the airport
for the duration of the contract.
On July 5, 2018, the Government of Bulgaria
published a concession notice in the Official Journal of the EU. The private
partner who offers the highest share of gross annual revenues and proposes
the best sustainable airport development plan, in addition to paying a
fixed upfront fee of Eur 281 million, will be granted the right to manage
the airport, determined through a competitive bidding process. Bids are
being checked for compliance with the tender requirements now and the actual
technical and financial offers will be only be opened on May 9, 2019, in
a public ceremony. All project documents have been published on the project
website and are accessible to the public to ensure transparency and legality
of the process.
For more information about the Sofia Airport
concession, please visit www.concession-sof.bg
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About EBRD IPPF
In addition to support for Sofia Airport
concession process, EBRD ‘s Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility
(IPPF) is also currently providing support to 8 other PPP tender processes
in the region, including the port sector in Ukraine and Egypt, facilities
management in Greece, Kazakhstan and Jordan, roads in Lebanon, and airports