BRAZIL: The Ministry of Infrastructure has now received a total of 21 applications to build rail projects under the provisional legislation designed to promote new line construction and rehabilitation under the Pro Trilhos programme launched in September.
The 21 schemes have a combined value of R$83∙7bn and, if approved, would add 5 640 route-km to the Brazilian network. The initial batch of applications covered 10 proposals with a total value of R$53∙5bn.
The bids are initially being analysed by the National Secretariat for Land Transport and 14 of them have already been passed to the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT) for further assessment.
Two of the latest proposals are from companies wishing to build routes already put forward by other bidders. Rumo has submitted schemes to build lines from Água Boa to Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso state (557 km) and from Uberlândia to Chavelândia (235 km) in Minas Gerais, both of which duplicate proposals put forward by VLI in September. Rumo has also proposed a 37∙5 km line from Perequê in Guarujá to Cubatão and Santos that would loop around the Santos estuary and connect the yards at Conceiçãozinha and Valongo.
Perhaps the most ambitious scheme is the 1 108 km Juscelino Kubistchek Railroad covering between the federal capital Brasilia and Barra de São Francisco in Espírito Santo. Provisionally costed at R$13∙5bn, this is being promoted by Petrocity Portos AS. The line would serve six major freight terminals to be built at an additional cost of R$700m.
Other applications for new lines include:
- a 286 km route to transport grain from Cascavel in Paraná state to Chapeco in Santa Catarina, priced at R$6bn and backed by Ferroeste;
- a 520 km line in Maranhão state promoted by Grão Para, running from from Alcântara to Açailandia;
- a 717 km route supported by Planalto Piauí Holdings from Suape in Pernambuco to Curral Novo in Piauí;
- a 610 km line linking Presidente Kennedy in Espírito Santo state to Conceição do Mato Dentro and Sete Lagoas in Minas Gerais, costed at R$14bn and backed by Macro Desenvolvimento;
- a 19∙5 km line in São Paulo proposed by Bracell, to carry wood pulp from Lençois Paulistas to Pederneiras, plus a related 4 km branch for moving eucalyptus logs from a factory in Lençois Paulistas;
- a 120 km route from Abaíra to a junction with the West-East Integration Railway near Brumado in Bahia state, with an eventual extension to link with the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica, backed by Brazil Iron Mineração and to be built in three stages at a cost of R$1∙2bn;
- a 100 km iron ore line between Coletina and Linhares in Espírito Santo proposed by Morro do Pilar Minerais at a cost of R$1bn.
In a separate development, Rumo has signed a contract with the state government of Mato Grosso to build lines from the Malha Norte railhead at Rondonópolis to Nova Mutum and Lucas do Rio Verde with a branch to Cuiabá, representing a total length of 730 km. Costed at up to R$11bn, this network would be built in stages, starting in 2025 with completion envisaged for 2030. An environmental permit for the scheme is still awaited, but Mato Grosso governor Mauro Mendes expects to receive this by March 2022. The line is to be known as the Olacyr de Moraes Authorised Transport Railroad after the soya bean entrepreneur behind Ferronorte, now known as Malha Norte, who died in 2015.