Locomotive in Brazil.

BRAZIL: Proposals for a 30-year extension of MRS Logística’s concession to operate freight services on a 1 674 km network serving the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and São Paulo are due to be submitted to the Federal Audit Court in April. The current concession expires on November 30 2026.

In return for the extension MRS Logística plans to invest R$7∙5bn in upgrades and improvement works. These would include segregation of traffic flows in the São Paulo area where some alignments are shared with suburban passenger services operated by Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos.

Provision may also be made for accommodating the proposed inter-city passenger services connecting cities within São Paulo state; studies for these were conducted during 2020.

MRS Logística envisages that its investment will pave the way for traffic growth that will include more general cargo in addition to the bulk goods that predominate at present, much of it being iron ore from mines in the Belo Horizonte area.

Public hearings for the concession extension were held during 2019, and MRS Logística President Guilherme Mello said recently that he hoped an agreement could be signed in the third quarter of this year.

Public consultations for an extension of the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica concession covering the 7 215 km Malha Centro-Leste network, which also expires in 2026, began on January 6. A hearing with the National Land Transport Agency is scheduled for February 3 before the consultation period ends on February 19. In return for the extension the concessionaire will be required to invest in additional capacity and safety improvements.

FCA, which is controlled by Vale Logística Integrada, operates in the states of Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás and the Federal District. Cargoes include iron ore, steel, bauxite, sulphur, sugar and agricultural produce.