Bulgarian Firms Struggle Because of Danube's Low Level

Business | September 30, 2011, Friday // 19:30
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Firms Struggle Because of Danube's Low Level Navigation in the Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube has been made impossible by the low level of the river. Photo by BGNES

Companies along Bulgaria's Danube bank are about to go bankrupt as a result of the continuously hurdled navigation of the major European river because of its low level.

Several firms in Northeastern Bulgaria, in the District of Silistra, are especially threatened, Nova TV reported Friday night.

The firms are dealing with construction and lumber industries, and they get many of the resources that they process through Danube trade from destinations such as neighboring Romania.

One of the largest wood-board processing plants in Bulgaria has not received any supplies of lumber from Romania for over a week, while a construction materials producer in Silistra has had to reduce its monthly output by half.

More than 100 ships got stranded in the Bulgarian section of the Danube because of the low level of the river in mid September, the Bulgarian Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River announced as the Danube River level near Bulgaria's Ruse hit a record low.

The Bulgarian Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River based in Ruse said it expects the Danube level to go up by 1 meter in the next month but even that will not allow the full-fledged restoration of navigation in the Bulgarian-Romanian section.

Danube's level has declined tremendously in the recent weeks. The most critical sections are near the Bulgarian Danube islands of Vardim, Belene, and Batin, the agency informed.

The waterway at the problematic section near the island of Batin was supposed to be expanded with an EUR 130 M grant from the EU Operational Program "Transport" but the project failed, and the funds were channeled to other projects.

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Tags: danube, Danube River, Batin island, Belene island, Vardim island, Romania, Ruse, Borovo municipality, Svishtov, Nikopol, Somovit, Ruse, Maritime Administration, Rangel Nikiforov, Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River, Ukraine, Ukrainian, cruise ship, vessels, ships, navigation, Silistra, Romania, construction materials, lumber, trade
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