URUGUAY: Finnish paper group UPM has awarded a consortium of Christophersen Group, Cointer Concesiones and Deutsche Bahn International Operations a 22-year contract to move up to 3 million tonnes/year of wood pulp, chemicals and fuel between its future pulp mill at Paso de los Toros and the port of Montevideo.
Deutsche Bahn International Operations will be the operator of the open access freight services, with investments in locomotives and tailor-made rolling stock and the maintenance depot being made by Cointer Concesiones and Christophersen Group.
UPM’s investment in the mill and commitment to use rail was a fundamental element supporting the US$800m Ferrocarril Central project to modernise the 273 km line between Montevideo and Paso de los Toros. This is being undertaken through an 18-year PPP contract awarded to the Vía Central consortium in 2019, and is due for completion by March 2022.
According to UPM, rail freight operations are expected to start following the completion of the branch to its mill now taking shape on the south bank of the Rio Negro.