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Sat 20 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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Fomento is frontrunner for Danube bridge job

Spanish company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas has been tipped to win a contract worth US $150 million (EUR116 million) to build a bridge over the Danube River, linking Bulgaria and Romania

Spanish company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas has been tipped to win a contract worth US $150 million (EUR116 million) to build a bridge over the Danube River, linking Bulgaria and Romania.

The company is believed to be in final negotiations with Bulgaria's transport ministry, according to a statement issued to the Spanish Stock Exchange.

The bidding process lasted for two years and included a consortium led by France's Vinci and Bulgarian companies Moststroy and Glavbolgarstroy; a consortium of Germany's Zublin and France's Eiffel, and a consortium of France's Bouygues, Italy's Rizzani de Eccher and Bulgaria's Transstroy Varna.

The bridge will link the Bulgarian Danube port of Vidin to the Romanian city of Calafat by road and rail. It is a key element of a European transport corridor from the German city of Dresden to Istanbul in Turkey.

Bulgaria and Romania, who both joined the European Union on 1 January, signed an agreement to build the Vidin-Calafat Bridge in 2000, but various bureaucratic obstacles have delayed the project.

Currently, the only bridge on the 610km section of the Danube that forms the Bulgarian-Romanian border links Ruse in Bulgaria and Giurgiu in Romania by road and rail.

The contract is expected to be signed at the end of January.

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