For the first time in 16 years, the future of Burgas Port is strongly linked to the results of the upcoming local elections.
That’s because the mayoral candidates’ agendas have never linked the development of the gateway to the economic development of the city. The first who has a plan for the economic development of the region based on the symbiosis between the Port and Burgas is Konstantin Bachiyski, whose candidacy is able to decide the runoff vote.
„The future of the Port of Burgas is related to serving ships and cargo, not the construction of shiny offices and restaurants in place of the existing berths.“
The candidate for Mayor of Burgas Municipality defined as absurd the idea that the main function of the gate should be reduced only to providing entertainment for tourists through various attractions in the new Public Access Zone.
„If we focus only on retail and offices, we will lose in the long term. It is impossible for restaurants to replace ships and for that to lead to serious economic growth. Offices can be built anywhere, but ships can only be serviced in port. And the revenue for one day from one ship space is often higher than the revenue generated for a month from the rentals of all commercial establishments in the Public Access Zone.“
Bachiyski recalled that historically the city grew along with the development of the Port, as the handling of ships generated additional income and jobs due to the associated cargo handling activities.
According to him, it is economically justified that berths „sixth“, „seventh“ and „eighth“ should be more closely connected to the city, but berths inland should not only be preserved, but also new deep-sea terminals should be built.
The estimated effect of their entry into operation is an increase in the competitiveness of the Port of Burgas.
It is a matter of negotiation whether the terminal should be operated by the state or a new private operator through a concession to achieve the provision of competitive prices for services to ships and shippers.
Konstantin Bachiyski believes that the creation of a new terminal is mainly related to the handling of „ro-ro“ cargo/intended for means of transport/, „ro-lo“ cargo/for the transport of railway wagons/ and container cargo.
He pointed out that the main advantage of this segment is that the cargoes are packaged, do not cause pollution or dust, and when transporting them to the interior of the country and Europe, they will pass through the existing exit of West Port, and from there – directly to industrial zones or highways. In this way, the economic benefits will remain for Burgas without in any way burdening the traffic in the central parts of the city.
„If we cannot use the advantages of our port, the good location, the proximity to the metropolis of Istanbul, the proximity to the possible free economic zone at Ravnets Airport, the Thrace highway and the Black Sea highway, we will lose the opportunities for economic growth. Thus, our neighbors from Constanta will continue to actively develop their port, and in Burgas we will drink tea or coffee by the deserted berths“.
Precisely because of his visionary ideas and the large-scale projects he develops, a run-off in Burgas between the exhausted mayor and his most consistent opponent in the person of Bachiyski is increasingly being predicted.
Thus, for the first time in 16 years, the intrigue in the local elections is alive.