The EBRD is considering providing a loan of up to EUR 18 million to Sofia Electric Transport Company (SETC or “the Company”) in order to support the Company’s priority investment programme with the procurement of new trolleybuses and rehabilitation of traction power substations. It will assist the City of Sofia in addressing the remaining restructuring and sector reform issues including the development of a Strategic Plan for transport service provision, determination of the optimal organisation and regulatory structure for transport service provision and the further corporatisation of SETC specifically by introducing a revised Public Service Contract (PSC).
The sources of transition impact are:
Market-based approach to tariffs, fares concessionary fares
The project will support a number of actions for improving the Public Service Contract (PSC) signed between the Municipality and the Sofia Electric Transport Company (SETC) bringing it to the level of best EU practices and in accordance with the applicable directives.
Corporatisation and ownership
The project includes the provision of consultancy services to SETC to operate on a commercial basis with full cost recovery at operational level from fares and other own revenues. It will also help the company to put in place a long-term business plan, including capital investment planning.
The project will support Sofia Municipality in the adoption of a Strategic Plan for transport services provision as well as further private sector involvement in providing bus services.
The beneficiary of the project is the Sofia Electric Transport Company (SETC) which is wholly owned by Sofia Municipality.
In 2008 SETC transported 198 million passengers and is considered the main transport operator for the centre of the City. At peak hours, it operates 298 trams on a network of 159 kilometres distributed over 17 lines as well as 106 trolleybuses on 93 kilometres distributed over 9 lines.
The company owns, operates and maintains all existing trolleybus lines, as well as the electrical supply infrastructure (substations, overhead catenary, etc.).
EBRD loan to SETC of up to EUR 18 million.
The project cost is estimated to EUR 21.6 million.
Screened B/1 under EBRD's 2003 Environmental Policy. The Project will contribute to improving public transport reliability, safety and efficiency as well as to reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions in the City with associated air quality benefits. Environmental due diligence consisted of a corporate environmental, health and safety audit of the Company and its existing facilities and operations, as well as an analysis of the proposed priority investment programme.
The due diligence has confirmed that the Company and its operations are in compliance with the applicable Bulgarian environmental, health and safety and labour requirements. The project and ESAP have been structured to meet Bulgarian and EU environmental, social, health and safety standards.
An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) to manage and mitigate potential environmental and social risks and liabilities associated with the existing facilities and planned investment programme has been prepared based on the results of the due diligence. The ESAP has been agreed with the Company for implementation during the Project. The ESAP includes measures for improvement of the Company's existing facilities and operations, such as improvement of the oil storage and handling facilities and procedures and provision of secondary containment; update of the Company’s Waste Management Programme and waste management permit to include additional types of waste and temporary waste storage sites; inspection and repair/renovation of aspiration and ventilation systems at the depots to ensure adequate capacity; renovation of accumulator battery maintenance workshops at selected depots; minimization of asbestos-containing dust pollution during rectifying station rehabilitation; proper storage and handling of construction waste including oil-contaminated and asbestos-containing materials during rectifying station rehabilitation; working with municipal and traffic authority to organise operation of mobile (container) rectifying station during RS rehabilitation.
Further actions associated with the proposed investment programme include safe decommissioning and disposal of the old trolleybus units; safe handling and disposal of hazardous wastes such as the used transformer oil generated from the rectifying station rehabilitation activities; proper handling and disposal of electrical equipment waste; preparing and formally adopting a comprehensive environmental monitoring plan for the company’s depots and RS. Also the Company will be required to carry out risk analyses and monitoring of the safe working conditions for each new workstation, in particular for drivers of the trolleybuses and for operators of the new rectifying station equipment.
The Bank's public disclosure requirements for B-level projects under the EBRD's 2003 Environmental Policy will be met before the Final Review.
EBRD TC Donor grants during project implementation are estimated at:
TC for the Corporate Development of Sofia Public Electrical Transport Company JSC and development of operational practices to meet the performance targets and obligations under the Public Service Contract - EUR 196,760 – to be financed by the Government of Spain
- TC for Regulatory Improvement to support Sofia municipality with a Public Transport Regulation and Restructuring Programme (the “PTRP”) - EUR 289,105 – to be financed by the Government of Spain.
The estimated funds to be made available during the project preparation phase stand at EUR 0.03 million.
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