BDB will lend projects under the Connecting Europe Facility
The Bulgarian Development Bank will provide funding to Bulgarian companies that have approved projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
CEF is a multi-annual European initiative, part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in energy and climate policies. At the end of 2019, BDB signed an agreement with the European Commission as an implementing partner for the initiative.
CEF aims to support, with a grant, investments in the creation of a network of transport links in all regions of the Union. Bulgaria is a beneficiary of this grant and, by the end of 2019, has received approval for 20 projects involving research activities, modernization and rehabilitation of transport – a total of EUR 417 500 000. The amount of supported investments is EUR 604 800 000.
The CEF Work Program 2019-2020 is divided into 2 packages with a total budget of EUR 196 million. The first one is for the modernization of railway infrastructure management systems and the second one is for the introduction of alternative fuels.
In order to be of benefit to Bulgarian companies that are interested in the facility, the Bulgarian Development Bank will provide funding for the various stages of project implementation, complementing the grant with credit resource. BDB will review the received applications for funding and, after approval, projects will also be able to apply for a grant from the European Commission (through the European Agency INEA, which administers the program).
The deadline for applying under the call for proposals is February 14, 2020. After this deadline, admission will be made on a quarterly basis until March 2021. The minimum amount of the grant per project is EUR 1 million and the minimum funding from the Bulgarian Development Bank is EUR 5 million.
So far, the CEF partners are: European Investment Bank and national development banks such as CDC (France), ICO (Spain), BGK (Poland), SID (Slovenia) and MFB (Hungary).
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was established by Regulation (EU) No: 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on 11 December 2013 and covers the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy sectors. Projects of common interest for the Telecommunications sector are defined in Regulation (EU) No: 283/2014 on guidelines for trans-European networks in the area of telecommunications infrastructure.