FOUR BIDDERS are seeking to prequalify for the contest to acquire a majority stake in a new freight operating joint venture with Uruguayan state operator AFE (RG 1.07 p7). To be selected within three months according to AFE President Antonio Galicchio, the preferred bidder would provide some US$50m for investment in the new venture.

They are reported to include a consortium of Genesee & Wyoming, logistics company Schandy and Weyerhaeuser, as well as two local forestry companies. Also bidding is a consortium of Uruguayan shipping company Christophersen Group, port operator Planir and what is reported to be a Belgian transport group. Rites of India and Benito Roggio Transporte of Argentina are seeking to prequalify on an individual basis.

Infrastructure authority CFU has prequalified 32 bidders for the parallel $90m project to upgrade and maintain 962 km of key routes on the national network. Including Transurb of Belgium, Odebrecht of Brazil, Herso of Argentina, Comsa of Spain and Ircon from India, they have been invited to submit bids by August 17.