SOFIA, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Three shipbuilding companies have offered to sell two multifunctional modular patrol vessels to Bulgaria at its request, the country's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Velichkov said here on Monday.
The shipbuilding companies included Lurssen from Germany, MTG Dolphin from Bulgaria and Fincantieri from Italy, Velichkov said at the proposals opening ceremony.
The ministry has sent requests for proposal to seven companies that have expressed interest to participate in the bid, he said.
A working group appointed by the Bulgarian prime minister is to evaluate the submitted proposals, Velichkov said.
The project's budget is 984 million BGN (565 million U.S. dollars), he said, adding that the first ship is set to be acquired by the end of 2023 and the second by the end of 2024.
The scope of the project included the acquisition of the two vessels and spare parts, as well as crew training, integrated logistic support and industrial cooperation, he said.
Bulgaria has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 2004.