ON JULY 25 the Argentinian government received bids from three consortia seeking to prequalify for a contract to build a high speed line from Buenos Aires to Rosario and Córdoba (RG 6.06 p305).

The government is expecting the contractor to provide at least 50% of the estimated US$1bn construction cost.

One group is led by Alstom, bidding with Isolux, Iecsa and public transport operator Emepa. CAF is working with OHL and Chediak, whilst Siemens is bidding with Electroingeniería. A fourth bid expected from a consortium including Ansaldo and Impregilo failed to materialise.

The government had hoped to announce prequalified bidders on August 15, but this was subsequently put back to the end of the month. Technical bids are due by October 26, with financial bids to be opened on November 21. The intention is to select a preferred bidder in December, enabling work to begin in the first quarter of 2007 for completion 30 months later.

  • Transport Secretary Ricardo Jaime signed a co-operation agreement with his French counterpart Dominique Perben in Paris on July 20, which will see the two countries share expertise in light rail (p493) as well high speed. Jaime also met with Alstom, RATP and SNCF which may supply surplus passenger coaches to Argentina.