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Brazil's transport minister Paulo Sérgio Passos signed six decrees authorizing 20 private sector companies to carry out technical viability studies for the construction and eventual concessions of six railroad stretches totaling 4,676km, following a call for expressions of interest last month.
A total of 71 submissions were approved for the six stretches. For a list of the companies, as published in the federal government's official gazette, visit this page.
The companies will have six months to prepare studies for four of the stretches, which run from Açailândia (Maranhão state) to Barcarena (Pará state), Anápolis (Goiás) to Corinto (Minas Gerais), Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) to Guanambi (Bahia) and Estrela D'Oeste (São Paulo) to Dourados (Mato Grosso do Sul). They span 457km, 775km, 845km and 659km respectively.
Eight months has been given for the remaining two of the six stretches, which run 990km from Sinop (Mato Grosso) to Miritituba (Pará) and 950km from Sapezal (Mato Grosso) to Porto Velho (Rondonia). Studies from more than one company could be used on a single railroad stretch.
Once the studies are handed in, a commission put together by the ministry will have 30 days to evaluate them and make a decision as to which will be used, according to a federal government release.
The commission is made up of officials from national ground transport agency ANTT, federal rail company Valec and the federal government's logistics and planning group EPL.
Besides attracting potential candidates for upcoming railroad concession tenders, the studies will help ensure successful bidding processes by putting together a solid foundation to help candidates prepare proposals.