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Transport Minister: We Are Stepping Up Moves towards Implementation of Fast Danube Project

Bulgaria and Romania will seek EU financing to ensure normal conditions for navigation on the Danube on more days of the year and to enable ships with a larger carrying capacity to use the waterway, Transport and Communications Minister Nikolay Sabev said in the Danubian city of Ruse on Saturday. The two countries are stepping up moves towards the real implementation of the Fast Danube project, he said.
Sabev attended a naming ceremony for the shunting ship Iskar, owned by the Ruse-based Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube.
The Iskar is the last component of the Agency’s dredging equipment with which it will be able to deepen the riverbed on its own. After training, the ship’s crew is expected to start dredging this summer.
Sabev explained that it was time Bulgaria started effectively performing its fairway maintenance commitments, which will increase considerably the effectiveness of the river fleets.
Fast Danube is a multi-annual project financed under the Connecting Europe Facility for Transport. The project benefits from 85% EU funding and 15% funding from the state budget. The project partners are the waterway administrations of Romania and Bulgaria – Galati Lower Danube River Administration and the Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube. The total project budget is EUR 5,252,000.