Minister confirms fast train bidding
The Casa Civil minister, Dilma Rousseff, affirmed during the presentation of the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) seventh evaluation, that it is maintained for the second half of this year the high speed train bidding forecast, which is going to connect the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. According to her, the whole mapping of the high speed train technologies which are interesting for Brazil has already been made, as well as they were listed all the Brazilian research institutes and universities which will be able to assimilate these technologies. Dilma yet confirmed the creation of the Railroad Research Company, which is going to coordinate the technology transference process for the project execution, budgeted in about USD 11 billion, which is going to be executed with private money.
- We are quickly moving towards the final studies – said the minister.
Brazil's bullet train may not be ready by '14 WCup
SAO PAULO (AP) — The high-speed rail line linking Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro may not be fully completed by the 2014 World Cup, Brazil's Transportation Minister Alfredo Nascimento said on Wednesday.
Nascimento acknowledged the bullet train could be functioning only partially by the time Brazil hosts the World Cup, unable to connect the cities which are expected to host the final and the opening match in 2014.
Nascimento told the private Agencia Estado news service it should take five years to finalize the project, but the auction for the rights to build the country's first high-speed rail line are not expected to happen until 2010.
Brazil's bullet train will take 105 minutes to travel between Rio and Sao Paulo, compared to a 45-minute plane ride or a nearly five-hour car trip.
Note Korean bid for Bracil-
Korean-Made Bullet Trains to Open New Era of Railways
The KTX-II will open for services later this year at the earliest on the KTX Honam Line, high-speed railway between Seoul and Mokpo, South Jeolla Province. / Korea Times
By Do Je-hae
Korea recently celebrated the 110th anniversary of the installation of what would become an indispensable tool for the nation's industrialization ¯ the railway.
The first rail service here began on Sept. 18, 1899 on the 33.2 km-Geyongin Line, connecting Noryangjin, in central Seoul, to Jemulpo, now known as Incheon, with trains travelling at 20 km/h.
More than a century later, Korea has become a one of the global frontrunners in the railway industry. It is one of the handful countries in the world ¯ after Japan, France and Germany ¯ that has the capacity to build and operate a 350 km/h high-speed train, known as the KTX-II, which will start running in the next few months.
Korea has held celebrations to pay tribute to the distinctive role of the railway in modernizing the country every September.
``We highly acknowledge the incredible achievement Korea has made in the railway industry,'' Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, director general of the International Union of Railways said. ``We will fully support the introduction of Korea's railway expertise to other parts of the world, including Europe and Brazil.''
He was speaking at a ceremony in Daejeon last week marking the 110th ``Railway Day,'' celebrated at the initiative of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Korea Railroad Corporation, commonly known as KORAIL.
KORAIL operates all long-distance, high-speed lines, as well as most local ones. The Gyeongbu Line, connecting Seoul and Busan, is by far the most heavily travelled.
``We believe KORAIL has the capacity to participate in major railway projects worldwide,'' Loubinoux added.
Founded in 1922, the international rail transport industry body is commonly referred to as the UIC after its French name, ``Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer.'' It currently has a membership of 199 countries, with Korea being one of its active members with Russia, China, Japan, and Europe.
Loubinoux met with Huh Joon-young, KORAIL president, to discuss areas of co-operation, namely the forthcoming UIC conferences and workshops to be held in Daejeon from Nov. 17 to 20.
This year is a landmark for the KORAIL, because, it has, for the first time since founding in the 1960s, its own independent building outside its former residence in the Daejeon Government Complex.
KORAIL moved into its new building adjacent to Daejeon Station on Sept. 18, symbolizing the complete privatization of a public corporation that had remained under state supervision and management until 2005.
``For the last 110 years, our railways have led the nation's economic development and served our people in their daily lives,'' Huh said at a ceremony to mark the opening of their new headquarters.
``We will now take part in the nation's green growth initiatives with next generation railway facilities, with an emphasis on eco-friendliness and energy efficiency.'' he added.
International Rail Projects
One of the landmark occasions in the history of the Korean railway was the launch of the KTX trains in 2004, modelled after the French TGV.
Korea is currently one of the four countries in the world that can independently produce high speed trains which run at the maximum speed of 350 km/h. A bullet train usually runs over 200 km/h.
Running at 300 km/h maximum for safety, the KTX-II will begin services later this year on the KTX Honam Line, high-speed railway between Seoul and Mokpo, South Jeolla Province.
Because of the economic, environmental and every-day benefits of high-speed rail systems, many countries are placing a priority on their development, with some referencing Korean models.
Brazil, for example, is meeting with Seoul officials this week at the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), based in Gyeonggi Province, to discuss joint efforts to develop the Brazilian TAV system technology.
TAV Brazil is a Brazilian high speed rail scheme, spanning 512 km and connecting Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Minister Chung Jong-hwan met with a high-level parliamentary delegation from Brazil, Monday amidst fierce global competition for the 2 billion won project.
Last year, five Korean organizations ¯ KRRI, KORAIL, the Korea Rail Network Authority, Hyundai Rotem, and Sunkoo Engineering ¯ jointly formed the ``Promotion Committee for the Brazilian High-Speed Railway Project.''
Based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with 15 countries, KRRI has actively conducted joint research projects with China, Japan, Russia and others.
Researchers in Korea and Russia have been talking about the development of the Euro-Asian continental railway network.
They have looked into the feasibility of long-term projects, such as linking Korea's railway lines to the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR), a network of railways connecting Moscow and European Russia with the Russian Far East provinces, Mongolia, China and the East Sea.
Researchers in Russia and Korea have also engaged in discussion to connect the railways of the two Koreas.
The ministry and the Presidential Committee on Regional Development are conducting a feasibility study on a Korea-China or a Korea-Japan undersea railway, proposed by Gyeonggi Province.
Additionally, Korea has spent a significant part of its ODA (Official Development Assistance) to advancing railway infrastructures in underdeveloped countries.
Domestic Rail Growth
Since 1899, Korea's trains have become faster and have become a routine presence in the lives of most Koreans. However, the railway infrastructure has remained largely unchanged despite some additional lines.
The total length of railways is 3,383 km, which is only slightly longer than that during Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945).
Some experts have expressed concerns that Korea does not place as much policy priority on expanding railway infrastructure as others.
``Countries like Japan place equal priority on highways and railways. As one of the world's top producers of high-speed trains, we need fresh momentum in rail growth'' said a senior researcher with a provincial economic research institute in South Jeolla.
Various parts of the country are undergoing construction for new train facilities.
The Honam High-speed Railway is currently being built. When completed in 2014, it will be a 90-minute ride by KTX from Seoul to Gwangju.
The ministry is considering the introduction of the ``Great Train Express'' (GTX) project to build a new underground railway in the greater metropolitan region. The GTX will run at around 120 km/h, three times faster than existing subways.
The National Assembly has been putting forth fresh ideas for rail growth.
Lawmakers have been proposing the necessity of the East-West railway, linking the country's eastern and western industrial cities for economic synergy and regional unity; and the Honam-Jeju underground railway, aimed at serving as a new tool for growth for two of the most underdeveloped parts of the nation located in the south-western part of the Peninsula.
The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) is planning to provide BRL21bn ($11bn) in funds for the planned Rio-São Paulo high-speed rail project.
The funds would cover up 60% of costs of the BRL34.6bn ($18.5bn) project.
The project involves building a 518 km high-speed metro railway to connect Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo and Campinas, with later extensions planned to Curitiba and Belo Horizonte.
The project is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2010, with the tendering process to be completed in early 2010 and a contract to be signed in May 2010.
The project is expected to be completed in six years.
It will be great news if we can have a third continent with High Speed Rail.
Brazil says it plans to build its first high-speed rail line within six years, a project which will link Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Campinas.
The cost of the 317-mile rail line will be $18.7 billion. The project would be 70 percent publicly financed and 30 percent privately.
Although the six-year period is not aimed for the 2014 world cup, but there is still a perception at Brazil's director for ground transportation (ANTT) that it could be complete in just three years.
"Some investors think they would be able to build it" before the world cup, while some other bidders disagree, said ANTT director Bernardo Figueiredo.
According to Figueiredo, bids should take place in January 2010, with contracts being signed by June 2010. He expects Brazil's government accounting office to authorize the project by mid-October.
Figueiredo also added that there had been no major problems with environmental licensing, although finance had been the largest obstacle.
Six groups have submitted proposal for the new line from five countries, two from Spain and one each from France, Germany, South Korea and Japan. China and Italy have also shown interest.
Brazil will open the bidding process this week to build a high-speed train link between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, officials have said.
The $19.44bn project will involve the building of a 510.8 km (317 mile) high-speed railway to connect Rio with Sao Paulo and Campinas and will cover seven stations including stops at international airports.
The rail line will allow trains to operate at a top speed of up to 350 km/h and crosses an area where nearly 40 million people live.
The railway is expected to be built ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Korea Eyes $20 Billion Brazil Rail Project
Korea’s railway industry is aiming to win a bid for a 510-kilometre high-speed rail route project in south-eastern Brazil. / Korea Times File
By Do Je-hae
Can Korea's railway industry repeat the export success story of a Korean consortium in acquiring a $40 billion contract to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates?
The first time Korea has exported its nuclear technology - finalized in the last week of December 2009 - is serving as inspiration for the Korea Railway Corporation (Korail), and other key industry players, as they gear up for an intense international competition for a new 510-kilometre high-speed railroad project in south-eastern Brazil.
On Dec. 20, the Brazilian government issued bidding rules and procedures for the $20 billion project to connect Rio de Janeiro to the industrial city of Campinas, via Sao Paulo, in less than two hours.
The successful bidder will be announced in May.
Brazil is seeking completion of the construction by 2014, when the country will host the 20th FIFA World Cup tournament.
Companies from Korea, Japan and some European countries have been preparing for the bid.
Recently, a consortium of Japanese firms led by Mitsui & Co. publicized its pitch. Japan recently beat Korea in bidding for a railway project in Vietnam.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs has set up a support team with Korail and other corporations.
Authorities will make the project one of the top priorities this year, according to a policy report to President Lee Myung-bak last week.
"We will exert every effort to come out as the winner in the bid for the project," Minister Chung Jong-hwan said.
The ministry will also focus on other similar overseas ventures in the U.S., Asia, Africa and China, as part of efforts to raise Korea's stature as a railway power on the global stage.
Countries around the world are putting more emphasis on expanding railways, in light of the economic, environmental and everyday benefits of high-speed rail systems. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, high-speed rails consume nearly 10 times less fuel than cars and six times less than planes.
In particular, China has been one of the most eager developers of railways. China will invest 823.5 billion yuan ($120.6 billion) in railways in 2010, including the construction of a high-speed train linking Shanghai and Beijing.
Chinese authorities said that they would break ground on 70 new railway projects in 2010 and by the end of 2012, the total length of China's railways would exceed 110,000 kilometres (68,350 miles). At the end of 2009, the network was 86,000 km, the world's second-longest.
Korean companies have had much success in the burgeoning Chinese railway market, having been selected to construct railways in Chongqing, Guangzhou and Harbin in recent years.
Beating France and Italy, Korea won a bid to build a national railway network in Cameroon in June 2009, marking Korea's first railway operation in Africa.
"We believe Korail has the capacity to participate in major railway projects worldwide," Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, director general of the International Union of Railways, said during his visit to Korea in October 2009 to mark the 110th "Railway Day."
More than a century after Korea first adopted the railway system in 1899, Korea has become one of the global frontrunners in the industry.
It is one of the handful of countries in the world - after Japan, France and Germany - that has the capacity to build and operate a 350 km/h high-speed train. A bullet train usually runs over 200 km/h.
Meanwhile, officials have designated this year as the key period of expansion in the nation's railway infrastructure, which has remained largely unchanged despite some additional lines.
Has anyone any news of the bidding auction that was to have taken place on May 2nd to build this high speed line?
Haven't seen a thing yet.
SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--The director of the federal government's transport agency said Thursday that tender offer guidelines for a project to build a high-speed bullet train in south-eastern Brazil will be published next week, and they expect the auction to take place in November.
Bernardo Figuereido, director of the Brazilian Ground Transportation Authority, or ANTT, made the announcement at a news conference, saying his agency was incorporating recommendations by Brazil's Federal Accounting Office, or TCU, before submitting the text of the proposed tender to the National Privatization Council for final approval.
The TCU has recommended that government financing for the project be limited to a ceiling of 19.9 billion ($11.06 billion). The TCU has estimated the total cost of the project at BRL33.1 billion. Any government financing would likely come from the Brazilian National Development Bank, or BNDES.
Brazil's first high-speed train line has been on the government's drawing board for years and will connect Brazil's two largest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as Campinas, Sao Paulo state's second-largest city.
Figuereido said the auction would likely be held in late November to give investors the extra time they requested to study the guidelines and formulate their proposals.
According to Figuereido, the agencies in charge of the project agreed not to consider the amount of public financing requested as a criterion in awarding concessions, instead giving preference to proposals that promise the lowest user fees.
Government officials said in February it was unlikely the train would be completed in time for soccer's 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil, but they were hopeful it would be ready for the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
It's interesting that both London and Rio de Janeiro are going to have high speed rail link for their prospective olympics. Looking back at things it's a shame that Sydney didn't get a high speed rail link for its olympics.
Brazilian high-speed project bid documents available this week
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
THE director-general of Brazil's National Land Transport Agency (ANTT), Mr Bernardo Figueiredo, says that bid documents for the concession to fund, build and operate a high-speed line linking Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas will be published by the end of this week. The contest to select a concessionaire will take place in late November, with a view to starting construction by the end of next year.
The winning consortium will be expected to seek public funding of up to Reais 19.9 billion ($US 11 billion) to be paid back within 30 years, with a five-year grace period. There will be review points in the concession agreement at Year 5 and Year 10 to ensure the correct balance between cash flow and project financing costs.
An application has been submitted to the Brazilian president to set up a state-owned company called Etav which will provide 33% of the equity in a special-purpose company formed to build and operate the high-speed line. Etav will also be responsible for monitoring construction
Brazil's national ground transport agency (ANTT) is scheduled to publish its 33.1bn-real (US$18.8bn) tender for the Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Campinas bullet train project on July 14.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the tender at a ceremony on July 13. However, it will be published in Brazil's official gazette on Jul 14 along with more information on ANTT's website, according to the spokesperson.
Bid envelopes are expected to be submitted by November 29 and the tender should be awarded on December 16, according to ANTT director Bernardo Figueiredo.
The tender involves building a 511 km railroad, including 90.9 km of tunnels and 103 km of bridges and overpasses. The bullet train will travel at an average speed of 300-350 km/h.
The concession will be awarded to the bid that offers the lowest passenger fare and requires the smallest amount of public funding. The fare for a one-way economy class ticket between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo has been set at between 150 reais and 200 reais.
Companies from Germany, France, Spain, Korea, China, Japan and Italy have expressed interest in the train project, which will have an estimated gross operating revenue of 193bn reais over the 40-year concession period. National development bank BNDES will finance around 70% of the project's cost.
Brazil will soon start a bullet train and companies from Japan, South Korea, China, France, Austria, Spain and Germany have expressed interest to build and operate it for 40 years.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched the bidding for the
construction of the high-speed rail service between the country's two biggest cities - Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - a project expected to cost 33 billion reais ($18.75 billion).
The rights for construction, operation and maintenance of the rail line for 40 years will be granted to the firm that commits itself to charging the lowest fare for the service, the president said.
The trains will run at speeds of up to 350 kph along the 510.8-km route. The trip between the two cities would take 97 minutes. Nine stations are to be built on the line, including stops at the Rio and Sao Paulo international airports.
The corridor for the proposed train is home to some 40 million people - 20 percent of the Brazilian population - and to firms and industries that generate a third of the country's gross domestic product.
Lula said though nobody believed in the project at first it will offer the same quality transportation as is available in developed countries.
'In the beginning, nobody would be interested, nobody would present a proposal. I had to talk to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to show that it was something serious,' Lula said.
Brazil's National Agency for Terrestrial Transport has already said the charge cannot be more than 28 cents per km, a limit meant to ensure that the train is competitive with existing passenger air service between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The winner of the contract will have access to public loans in Brazil up to a maximum of 19.9 billion reais ($11.3 billion), 60.3 percent of the scheduled cost of the project.
The work will get under way in late 2011 and is scheduled to conclude in 2015, before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
BNDES offers loan for Brazilian HSL
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
BRAZIL'S national development bank (BNDES) has offered to lend up to Reais 19.98 billion ($US 11.8 billion) to the constructor of Brazil's first high-speed line in a move that aims to minimise risks to investors and speed up implementation of the project.
The 30-year loan is equivalent to 60% of the Reais 33.1 billion required to build the Rio de Janeiro - São Paulo - Campinas line, which is due to open in time for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Doubts emerged over construction risks and a potential cost adjustment after a report by the Federal Court of Audit earlier this year suggested geological studies are inadequate, and that the government's own estimates of environmental costs were unreliable.
Meanwhile federal treasury undersecretary Mr Marcus Aucelio has indicated the government may be willing to offer the winning concessionaire an annual operating subsidy of up to Reais 5 billion, if revenues fail to meet projected levels. The winner of the concession to build and operate the line will be selected on the basis of the bid which offers the lowest economy-class fare between Rio and São Paulo.
Brazil's National Land Transport Agency (ANTT) is expected to announce the winning bidder on December 16.
Slightly more detail-
Brazil offers to lend $11.8 bln for high-speed train
Mon Nov 8, 2010 1:54pm EST
* State bank BNDES to fund 60 pct of total investment
* Winner of bid could pay 7 pct annually for loan
* Bullet train to link Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brazil's national development bank offered on Monday to lend up to 19.98 billion reais ($11.8 billion) to build a high-speed passenger railway linking the country's two biggest cities, underscoring the need for massive government guarantees for the project.
The 30-year loan will pay interest of 6 percent plus another percentage point in fees related to credit risk, state lender BNDES said in a statement. Borrowers will only start paying the loan six months after the expected start of the train service between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro by 2016.
The BNDES funding is equivalent to 60 percent of the estimated 33 billion reais cost of the project. The consortium that will build the railway will be picked in an auction scheduled for Dec. 16, the statement added.
By increasing loan guarantees and money available for bidders, the government is seeking to lower underlying risks and speed up execution and completion of the project, which it hopes will be ready for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Some economists have said that the government is forcing the BNDES to sho ulder too many risks to accelerate growth in Latin America's largest economy.
The package is the latest in a series of efforts by the BNDES to provide financing for more than $1 trillion in public works that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who stands down in December after eight years in office, wants the next administration to undertake.
Such projects, including the "bullet" train, are key to avert bottlenecks that could slow Brazil's economic growth in coming years by adding to costs for exporters and discouraging investment.
The sleek, streamlined bullet train thundering its way between the cities at 280 kilometers per hour (174 miles per hour) is the image of a modern and thriving Brazil that Lula and his successor, President-elect Dilma Rousseff, want to project.
The bank said that the train will transport 32 million passengers a year and generate revenues of up to 2 billion reais a year.
Consumers will pay up to 199 reais ($117) for a one-way trip. Currently, the cost of a one-way plane ticket could be as much as three times the expected cost of a bullet-train pass.
Korea group to bid for Brazil train as delay seen
Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:28pm EST
(Reuters) - A group of 22 companies led by South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries plans to bid for the right to build and operate a high-speed rail link in Brazil, even as the government might delay the process.
Consorcio TAV Brasil will tender its proposal on November 29, when bidding for the bullet train project opens officially, according to a statement issued on Friday. Partners of TAV Brasil include LG CNS Co, Samsung SDS and Brazilian construction group CR Almeida.
The group's announcement comes after local media reported on Friday that the Brazilian government could delay an auction to pick a winner to allow for a broader debate on the project's cost and necessity. The auction for the buller train plan could Brazil's largest ever.
The venture, which could cost about 33 billion reais ($19 billion), has drawn criticism from Brazil's budget watchdog because the government has promised large subsidies to the winning bidder. A winner will be unveiled on December 16.
"TAV Brasil already has the bank guarantees that are necessary to participate in the bidding," the group said in the statement. Bidders will have to deposit 340 million reais as a guarantee to participate in the auction.
According to Valor Economico, potential bidders balked at the short notice for the auction next Monday. Insufficient debate over the bullet train plan, one of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's flagship infrastructure projects, could make executing it harder for the winner, the newspaper said on Friday.
Bernardo Figueiredo, head of Brazil's regulator for the transport industry, will meet with investors on the project later on Friday, according to the agency known as ANTT.
Currently, Consorcio TAV Brasil and a Brazilian group could bid in the auction, Valor said.
The winner will get a 40-year permit to run the train. Lula says the train and other big infrastructure projects sponsored by government credit are key for Brazil to sustain annual growth rates above 5 percent a year this decade.
The sleek bullet train running between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at 280 kilometers per hour (174 miles per hour) is the image of a modern and thriving Brazil that Lula and his successor, President-elect Dilma Rousseff, want to project.
Transport Minister Pedro Passos will announce the decision to postpone the bidding later on Friday, Valor reported. The ministry's media office was not immediately available to comment on Valor's story.
SAO PAULO -(Dow Jones)--Brazil's national transportation agency said Friday it will delay by five months the deadline to receive bids to build and operate a bullet train between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Groups will now have until April 11 to turn in bids for the high-speed train that will link Rio de Janeiro with Sao Paulo and continue to Campinas, about 100 kilometers north of the city of Sao Paulo, a spokeswoman for the agency known as ANTT said. The government had previously demanded bids be turned in by Nov. 29, with the actual auction of the license to take place Dec. 16. The auction will now take place April 29, the ANTT said.
The agency has received requests to delay the deadline from local and foreign groups who say information about government financing of the project was given "at the last minute," the local Estado news agency reported this week.
The government said earlier this month that national development bank BNDES will provide as much as 20 billion Brazilian reais ($11.8 billion) of financing to build the train. The total project is expected to cost about BRL33 billion.
The technical details of the project were made available last year and opened to public evaluation and comment.
The ANTT met with groups from Spain, China, Germany, Korea, France and Japan last week to discuss some of the details of the plan, and all but the Koreans asked for a change in the deadline, Estado reported Wednesday.
Reuters reported Friday before the announcement of the delay that the Korean group still planned to turn in its plans for the bullet train on Monday. Earlier reports in the local press said the Korean group had given up after Brazilian partners dropped out.
Thursday, Kyodo News Agency reported sources familiar with the situation said the Japanese consortium had decided not to take part in the tender.
ANTT president Bernardo Figueiredo said the requests to delay the bidding deadline aren't meant to resolve technical questions but to pressure the government for more financing, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported Thursday. The current model says that the group with the winning bid will build and operate the train, while the bidding companies prefer that the government take on the risk of building the train and then auction the rights to operate the line, which would boost the profitability of the project, Folha said.
Brazil Delays Bullet Train Auction to Aid Competition
Brazil postponed the auction of a license to build and operate a high-speed train from December to April 29 to allow the most companies possible to participate.
The government made the decision to “increase the chance of having a more competitive process and have a stronger market and technological options,” Bernardo Figueiredo, head of the land transportation agency, or ANTT, told reporters today in Brasilia. The decision was made by both President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and President-elect Dilma Rousseff, he said.
The 511-kilometer (318-mile) high-speed train will link the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Campinas via Sao Paulo with a project budget of 33 billion reais ($19.1 billion). Originally, the auction was scheduled for Dec. 16.
Four groups and a Korean consortium have pledged to make bids, Figueiredo said. Those involve companies including Bombadier Inc., Alstom SA, Siemens AG, as well as Chinese, Japanese and Korean technology firms, he said. The postponement won’t delay the project’s completion nor change its conditions, Figueiredo said.
Brazil's national ground transport agency ANTT has postponed the bid submission deadline for the 33.1bn-real (US$19.2bn) Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Campinas bullet train project just days before companies were due to submit their proposals.
The agency has moved the bid deadline back from November 29 to April 11, and the tender is due to be awarded April 29. ANTT did not give a reason for the decision, news service Agencia Estado reported.
The transport agency had faced increasing pressure to postpone the tender as the deadline approached. The federal public ministry, national rail equipment manufacturers' association Abifer, road and rail materials and equipment association Simefre and various businesses linked to the project had all called for deadline to be pushed back.
Critics said ANTT had not allowed enough time for companies to prepare their bids after releasing crucial information about the project at a very late stage.
A consortium led by Spanish rail manufacturer CAF said on Friday (Nov 26) that it would be unable to conclude project studies in time to meet the November 29 deadline. A Japanese group including Mitsui said it had also pulled out, according to a report by local paper Valor Economico, which quoted Japanese news agency Kyodo News.
However, the Brazil ian subsidiary of Canadian aircraft and train manufacturer Bombardier and a consortium led by South Korean group Hyundai confirmed they would still be bidding.
The bullet train project involves building a 511 km railroad, including 90.9 km of tunnels and 103 km of bridges and overpasses. The train will travel at an average speed of 300-350km/h.
The deadline to request clarifications regarding Brazil's 33.1bn-real (US$19.6bn) Rio-Sao Paulo-Campinas bullet train tender has been set for March 10, national ground transport agency ANTT reported in a release.
The bid submission deadline is April 11, and the tender is due to be awarded April 29.
The bullet train project involves building a 511 km railroad, including 90.9 km of tunnels and 103 km of bridges and overpasses. The train will travel at an average speed of 300-350km/h.
The concession will be awarded to the bidder that offers the lowest passenger fare and requires the least public funding.
According to the ceiling price for passenger fares set by the tender, a one-way economy class ticket between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo is expected to cost between 150 and 200 reais.
Companies from Germany, France, Spain, South Korea, China, Japan and Italy are reported to have expressed interest in the project.
* Brazil construction firms to lead 2 consortia
* Auction set for April 29, unlikely to be postponed again (Adds detail, context, quote)
Feb 11 (Reuters) - At least three consortia will bid in April for the right to build and run a high-speed railway in Brazil, the head of the nation's transport regulator told Reuters on Friday.
The auction for one of the key infrastructure projects ahead of the 2016Olympics was delayed last year to allow time for more companies to participate.
In addition to a consortium led by South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd (009540.KS), at least two other undisclosed groups will bid, Bernardo Figueiredo, head of the ground transport regulatory agency ANTT, told Reuters.
He said Brazilian construction companies were to lead the other two groups.
The auction is set for April 29. "The ANTT has no reason to propose a delay," said Figueiredo.
The venture, which could cost about 33 billion reais ($19 billion), has drawn criticism from Brazil's budget watchdog because the government has promised large subsidies to the winning bidder.
The sleek bullet train projected to run between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at 280 kilometers per hour (174 miles per hour) is part of a massive infrastructure investment plan President Dilma Rousseff spearheaded as chief of staff in the previous administration.
In addition to the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is to host the soccer World Cup in 2014. The country's poor infrastructure, from congested roads to clogged airports, has been at the center of investor concerns. (Reporting by Leonardo Goy; Writing by Raymond Colitt; Editing by John Wallace)
Brazil's federal district justice ministry (MPF/DF) has recommended that national ground transport agency ANTT suspend its tender for the 33.1bn-real (US$20bn) Rio-São Paulo-Campinas bullet train.
The ministry presented a series of recommendations that aim to correct legal and constitutional irregularities surrounding the tender, without calling into question the need for the project, according to an MPF release. Some of the requirements will require the tender's temporary suspension.
The recommendations include suspending the tender until a bill is approved to create a high-speed public transport authority (ETAV).
The ministry also recommended issuing new rail transport licenses for national and international rail lines. Existing passenger studies for the bullet train are based on the use of buses along the route, which cannot be accurate without updated rail licenses, according to the ministry.
Several players have expressed concern over demand for the bullet train, which the federal government expects to handle 33mn passengers annually. Japanese firm Mitsui, one of the prospective bidders, has called for the project to be postponed, saying its own studies show passenger demand to be much lower.
ANTT has already pushed back the tender schedule once, after participating companies requested more time to prepare bids. Offers are now due to be presented April 11 and the contract awarded April 29.
The bullet train project involves building a 511 km railroad, including 90.9km of tunnels and 103km of bridges and overpasses. The train will travel at an average speed of 300-350km/h.
Brazil's transport ministry will release an official decision regarding the postponement of the April 11 bid deadline for the 33.1bn-real (US$20.7bn) Rio-São Paulo-Campinas bullet train project on April 7, a spokesperson for ground transport agency ANTT confirmed.
The agency has received requests to extend the deadline from companies interested in bidding for the project. Officials said previously that the deadline extension would be for around 90 days.
In related news, Brazil's house of representatives has approved a provisory measure that authorizes the use of federal funds for the project, news service Agência Estado reported.
The measure permits up to 20bn reais in funding through national development bank (BNDES) for the winner of the concession.
The bill also authorizes the creation of a public company to manage the initiative: high-speed public transport authority Etav. Linked to the transport ministry, Etav will be responsible supervising construction of the high-speed rail line, as well as environmental licensing and the planning of future routes.
The final points of the measure will be analyzed by the house before passing to a senate vote next week.
Legislator Carlos Zarattini of the ruling workers' party is pushing for an amendment to the proposal that would increase funding by 2bn reais, based on adjustments to consumer price index INPC.
The bullet train project involves building a 511km railroad, including 90.9km of tunnels and 103km of bridges and overpasses. The train will travel at an average speed of 300-350km/h.
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