Railway track in Brazil

BRAZIL: Rail projects are to receive funds worth a total of R$94∙2bn in the country’s latest Growth Acceleration Programme unveiled by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on August 11. The Programme allocates R$55∙1bn for the period from 2023 to 2026, with the remaining R$39∙1bn due to be spent from 2026 onwards.

The programme envisages that nearly all the funds, R$88∙2bn, will be sourced from the private sector. This will be allocated to 15 new or existing concessions or projects. A further R$5∙7bn from the public purse will be put towards three major new line construction projects. Just R$0∙1bn will be spent on improving lines in the Juiz de Fora and Barra Mansa areas, while R$0∙2bn is to pay for studies and planning work for 15 freight and passenger projects, including the long-planned São Paulo – Campinas inter-city scheme.

Included in the programme is further work on the much-delayed Transnordestina project between Salgueiro and Suape. Funds will also be channelled into more work on the partly completed 485 km second stage of the Ferrovia de Integração Oeste-Leste between Caetité and Barreiras.

Contributions are also envisaged for additional work on the 383 km first stage of the Ferrovia de Integraçao Centro-Oeste, construction of which was launched by Lula’s predecessor Jair Bolsonaro in September 2021. Intended to facilitate export of agricultural produce from the Araguaia valley in Mato Grosso, this 1 600 mm gauge line will run from Água Boa to Mara Rosa, where it will connect with Ferrovia Norte-Sul.

Other railways where studies or planning work are proposed include the Ferrogrão project between Sinop in Mato Grosso state and the inland port of Miritituba in Pará state, and the 164 km Ferrovia Tereza Cristina in Santa Catarina state, which carried more than 70 million tonnes of coal and other products in 2022. Also listed is the proposed 862 km Ferrovia do Frango between Dionísio Cerqueira, on the Argentine border in Santa Catarina state, and the port of Itajaí.

Commenting on the President’s announcement, National Secretary for Rail Transport Leonardo Ribeiro said that ‘it will be one more tool allied to our effort to promote railway works, which are so important to ensure true national integration’.

GAP also allocates R$185∙8bn to road projects, R$54∙8bn to ports and R$10∙2bn to airports.

  • The planned auction of bids for the São Paulo – Campinas inter-city passenger project scheduled for November 28 may be further delayed by up to 90 days, following requests for an extension to the bid deadline from three out of four bidders that had expressed interest.