Manaus' US$776mn monorail suspended over financing, irregularities

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brazil's 1.3bn-real (US$776mn) monorail project for Amazonas state capital Manaus has been suspended indefinitely, a spokesperson from the state tenders commission told BNamericas.

"This is due to federal and state prosecutors suspending financing from federal savings bank Caixa Economica Federal, as various irregularities such as the route of the monorail are in question," the spokesperson said.

Consortium Vila Verde, formed of Delta Construçoes and Toniolo Busnello, is contesting the tender for the project, which was scheduled to be awarded by September 15.

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The group was disqualified from the tender in August due to a failure to comply with bidding rules, BNamericas reported at the time. The firm has begun an appeal and its paperwork is still being analyzed, according to the official.

Consortium Monotrilho Manaus was the only competitor that qualified. The group is comprised of Brazilian construction companies CR Almeida, Mendes Junior and Serving, as well as Malaysian urban transport engineering firm Scomi.

"For now, it is impossible to say when a winner will be announced," the official said.

Manaus' municipal planning and economic development department has said it will not make changes to the project.

The 20km monorail, aimed at helping prepare Manaus to host the 2014 World Cup, will incorporate existing terminals in the eastern and downtown districts. It will have capacity to transport around 200,000 passengers each day.

The project is part of a 2bn-real multimodal transport network that also includes a bus rapid transit (BRT) system.