The geographical position of Vidin Region in the utmost northwestern part of Bulgaria, its situation on two state boundaries – with the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Romania, and its border with the Danube River to the Southeast assigns it an important place in the national and European transport network. Transport system is represented by well-developed road network, water, and railway transport and has the potential to develop air transport. This makes the opportunities for development of intermodal transport and strengthening the region positions as transport and logistic center very good.
Two transport Transeuropean corridors pass through the region - N: 4 - Dresden–Prague–Vienna/ Bratislava - Budapest-Craiova-Vidin-Montana –Vratsa-Sofia-Thessalonica/Istanbul and N: 7 - the Danube River (Reign–Ìein-Danube).
The Vidin-Calafat Danube Bridge is of a key significance for the development of the Pan-European Transport Corridor 4 and for the entire South-East European Transport Axis and the Trans-European Transport network. It gives opportunities for combined transport and for transfering certain volumes of traffic from road to rail.
Transeuropean corridor N: 4
Road E 79, which is part of Transeuropean corridor N: 4, connecting Southeast with Central Europe, connects through the region territory ( Romanian border – Vidin Ferryboat – ring road Vidin- Dimovo – Ruzhintsi – Montana – Vratsa – ring road Sofia – ring road Blagoevgrad – Greek border) and is of prior internal and international importance.
Great part of the infrastructure projects in the region are directed towards modernization and development part of the corridor in order to integrate with the Transeuropean transport network. In 2006 the entire rehabilitation of “Vidin – Montana” road section was completed, 41.400 km of which are on Vidin Region territory. Road section Vidin – Montana was set in order with the requirements for first class road with the completion of that repair works. Construction of a new road bed with 20,50 km in length in “Dimovo-Ruzhintsi” section is imminent. That way crossing the railway road and passing through four settlements will be eliminated. The project is foreseen for financing in the Indicative list of prior projects on Operational Programme “Transport” 2007-2013.
Up to the present moment, a ferryboat line connecting the towns of Vidin and Kalafat services the section from corridor N:4 at the Danube River. On 13.05.2007, the first sod of construction a bridge over the Danube at Vidin was turned as part of the Transeuropean corridor. The bridge construction is a project of international importance. Its implementation will influence the transport infrastructure and the economic development. The equipment will be a combined bridge with two roadways in each direction, single electrified railway road and a cycling allay. In 2007, the contracts for design, construction, and independent supervision were signed. The terms for design and construction of the equipment is 38 months. The complete building site should be put into operation in 2010.
Parallel to the bridge design and construction, in the period 2008-2010 the adjoining road and railway infrastructure will be built on the Bulgarian bank, which includes the construction of 5 road junctions in two ways, new four road motorway connection with the existing ring road of Vidin, construction of new goods-station and rehabilitation of the existing railway station and building approximately 15 km one-way railroad line for speed maximum of 160 km/p. h. for express trains.
Other more important roads servicing the region are:
1.Second class road II – 11 (ring road Vidin - Dimovo) - Simeonovo - Botevo - Archar - Lom – ring road Kozloduy - Oryahovo - Gigen - Brest - Gulyantsi - (Debovo - Nikopol), connecting the towns along the Danube;
2.Second class II – 12 ring road Vidin - Inovo - Bregovo – Serbian border;
3.Second class road II – 14 ring road Vidin - Kula – Vrashka chuka – Serbian border.
The road network on Vidin Region territory managed by Regional Road Administration is 611,4 km long. Republican roads, of which 73, 5 km – Ist class, 91,0 km – IInd class, 443,4 km – IIIrd class and 3,5 km are road connections. At the beginning of year 2008 239,6 km of the Republican roads in the region are in good condition, 160,2 km are in satisfactory, and 211,6 km are in bad condition. 35 km of the IInd class roads are in bad condition as well as 176, 6 km of IIIrd class roads.
The republican road network density in the region is 0,202 êm/sq.êm, while the average for the country it is 0,174 km/sq.km.
There are four border checkpoints in Vidin Region:
1. Border checkpoint Vrashka Chuka (Bulgaria – Serbia) in the direction II-nd class road II-14 ring road Vidin - Kula - Vrashka Chuka – Serbian border, connects the towns of Kula and Zaychar (Serbia)
2. Border checkpoint Bregovo (Bulgaria - Serbia) in the direction of second class road II 12- ring road Vidin-Inovo-Bregovo-Serbian border, connecting the towns of Bregovo and Negotin (Serbia).
3. Border checkpoint Vidin-River Port situated in the center of Vidin and servicing the vessels on the Danube.
4. Border checkpoint Vidin – Ferryboat – situated at 2,5km far of the town of Vidin in North Industrial Zone. It services the ferryboat relation Vidin - Kalafat (Romania).
In 2007, an agreement between the heads of states of Bulgaria and Serbia was signed about establishing new cross border checkpoint at the passage of “Kada Boaz,” between the villages of Salash, Belogradchik municipality, and Novo Korito, Knyazhevats municipality.Its construction will enable the passengers’ transition and will have positive impact on the infrastructure and economic development of Vidin Region.
The position of Vidin Region along the Danubian bank suggests opportunities for direct connections with the neighboring countries from the Danube basin, as Vidin is the first Bulgarian town along this river.
Port “Vidin" is located along the right river bank, in the section between km785.000 and km795.000. It exploits four industrial regions:
- Port Terminal North situated between river km. 793.500 and 793.700 km. It is connected to the Republican road and railway infrastructure.
- Auto Ferryboat Terminal is also located in North Industrial Zone from km 792.800 to km 793.000. It services the ferryboat relation Vidin – Kalafat.
- Port Terminal Center- located in the central part of the city from river km 789.900 to km 791.300.
- Port Terminal South – located in South Industrial Zone from river km 785 to km 785.200 and covers 48 000 square meters area.
The future development of the ports in the region is connected with rendering them under concession. On the territory of Vidin Region are functioning ports managed by private companies: Ro-Ro Terminal, situated in North Industrial Zone, Petrol Terminal, situated in the South Industrial Zone, Port of The Danubian dredging fleet. There are not functioning ports at the villages of Vrav, Novo Selo and Archar.
Airport Vidin was built in 1973 as citizen airport at 6 km away from Vidin with 2,030m length and 40m width of the landing strip; it could take airplanes with useful load up to 50 tones. At the moment it is not functioning. The adjoining infrastructure and airport equipment are in comparatively good condition as they are serious assets for its future reconstruction. In 2007, after shown interest of investors for reopening the airport, Regional Administration Vidin undertook measures for investigating the opportunity to reconstruct it as a landing platform for airplanes with weight up to 5,700kg and 19 places.
Railroad transport in Vidin Region is run by the divisions of National Company “Railroad Infrastructure” and BDZH PLC (Bulgarian State Railways Company). Vidin Region is connected with the national railway network by 87km of railway line, part of VII basic railway road line Sofia – Vidin. It is single railway line, put into operation in 1923, completely electrified since 1988. It services directly the Municipalities of Ruzhintsi, Dimovo, Makresh, Gramada, and Vidin. Belogradchik, Bregovo, Boynitsa, Kula, Novo Selo and Chuprene municipalities are without direct railroad transport to the regional center and the country.
In Vidin - Sofia railway section there are 13 railway stations, stops and division posts. Railway Station - Vidin is one of the oldest stations in Bulgaria as its exploitation started in 1923. There is a railroad to GIPS PLC - Koshava, which is only for loads and needs rehabilitation. Part of its roadbed will be used for connecting
the Danube Bridge II with the existing infrastructure. A new Border Railway station is designed for freight trains. Reconstruction of the existing passengers railway station is foreseen to service the international and inner passenger traffic.
In construction the new adjoining infrastructure of the new combined motor and Railroad Bridge over the Danube near Vidin, the infrastructure around Vidin will be also modernized. There are provided: reconstruction of the existing passenger railroad station, building new freight railway station, and approximately 15 km of one-way railway line for speed limited up to 160 km per hour for conventional trains. The project for modernization of the relation Vidin –Sofia at the cost of 320 million euro is foreseen for realization and implementation in the Indicative List of Prior Projects on Operational Programme “Transport” 2007-2013.
On 11.01.2006 the financial memorandum under ISPA programme for funding the technical assistance for project development was signed.
WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM
Vidin Region disposes of relatively well organized water supply network with total length 1 725 km. The region is relatively well supplied with drinking water, but the water supply system requires too much energy.
The water supply is carried out through pumps, gravitation and mixed, whereas 16% of the supplied water is supplied through gravity, and 84% through pumps. Great quantity of the drinking water for Vidin Region is ensured by underground water as there are surface water sources for Chuprene municipality. The water-supply network, which is maintained by “Water Supply and Canalization” PLC - Vidin has been constructed since 1938 up to now. The life - time of the bigger part of the system has expired and it is already strongly amortized, which leads to a lot of damages as it needs modernization and renovation.A sewerage system is constructed in Vidin and the bigger settlements in the region while in the others the waste water is collected in septic pits.
No settlement in the region has built wastewater-purifying station.
ELECTRIC ENERGY NETWORKS
Electro supply in Vidin Region entirely depends on the electric energy network of the Republic of Bulgaria. The electric energy network in Vidin Region is maintained by "CHEZ Electro Bulgaria" JSC. Enterprises producing electrical energy are: Hydroelectric Power Plant cascade Gorni Lom, comprising of Hydroelectric Power Plant “Kitka”, “Gorni Lom”, “Midzhur”, “Falkovets” and thermo-electric power station Vidin. Overall, the electricity produced from coals is typical for the electric energy industry in Vidin Region. In 2007, Regional Administration undertook inquiry on the potential industrial and household needs of gas supply in the region. In 2008, this project activity continues with a view to make use of the possibilities of gasification of the region. Making the optimum of power supply and introducing renewable sources of energy are among the region development priorities.