Construction companies which until recently were in the business of developing and building residential complexes, golf courses and holiday homes, were redirecting their resources towards road construction, Bulgarian daily Dnevnik said on December16 2009.
Some of these companies were said to be conducting negotiations to buy out established road construction firms.
The reason for the shift in interest was a one billion euro planned investment in the sector under the regional development programmes earmarked for the modernisation of Bulgaria's infrastructure.
"Real estate construction and tourism are in stagnation, since 7 or 8 months we are expanding our resources in the road construction sector," Nikolai Galchev, head of Galchev Engineering Group, was quoted by Dnevnik as saying.
Galchev carved out a reputation for himself by building a string of holiday homes in Bulgaria's alpine resort town of Bansko. Nowadays, his company was involved in public procurement procedures for as many as six different projects under the Transit Roads V programme. He has already secured a contract for road maintenance near the southwestern town of Sandanski.
Galchev was also interested in participating in the construction of the Trakia motorway, as well as "buying out some established road construction firms" Dnevnik said.
Balkanstroi was another firm which was to participate in the Trakia motorway public tender procedures, according to Balkanstroi manager Nikolai Kaloyanov. Balkanstroi has built numerous residential complexes around the country, as well as a golf course in Razlog.
"The colleagues from residential construction are aggressively pushing to get a slice of the market in motorway construction. We respect their professional expertise, but they have no experience in road construction," Roumen Yovchev, executive director of Moststroi and head of the Roads Chamber, was quoted by Dnenvik as saying. Yovchev said he would attempt to introduce a tough selection procedure for construction companies who want to be inaugurated in the branch of building first and second class roads across Bulgaria.
Some of the foreign companies who participated in 2008 were expected to submit their documents again, with over 60 companies having purchased documents for the public procurement procedures for the Stara Zagora-Nova Zagora motorway section, a project worth 96 million euro.