LatAm infra weekly wrap

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 09, 2003
It was a week of starts and stops, beginning with news that Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ordered the transport ministry to suspend all federal transport infrastructure tender processes underway, which total some 5bn reais (US$1.48bn) in required investment. Lula, who took office January 1, ordered the stoppage to determine which works are most needed, so as to channel funds to other areas that might take precedence over roads, ports and airports. But a positive sign emerged out of Argentina, where word that the government might release funds to complete the 59km Rosario-Victoria bridge and access roads project indicated at least some initiatives might be getting back on track. BNamericas reported that Santa Fe province's public works ministry expects President Eduardo Duhalde to sign a decree that will free up 50mn pesos (some US$15.1mn) for the effort, which would link Santa Fe with neighboring Entre Rios province. In Central America, the bi-national technical commission made up of representatives from El Salvador and Nicaragua's ports and transport authorities are aiming to publish terms for a 15-year concession to operate passenger ferries between the two countries this month. Although details are still being drawn up, the concession would involve running ferries across the gulf of Fonseca between the ports of La Union, El Salvador, and Corinto, Nicaragua. Finally, Brazil's Sao Paulo state railroad company CPTM will open technical bids of the 12 pre-qualified groups vying for a contract to carry out the engineering designs for second phase of Sao Paulo city's line 5 metro later this month. The second phase carries a total estimated price tag of US$1.3bn and will run 10km, connecting Largo Treze de Maio to the Santa Cruz station of Line 1. RESULTS & FIGURES The US$53mn invested by Brazilian port operator Tecon Rio Grande invested at its container terminal in Rio Grande do Sul state port Rio Grande helped boost cargo movement in 2002 to 444,144 TEUs, a 28% increase compared to 2001. Chilean credit rating agency Feller Rate maintained its AAA rating on US$9mn in bonds issued by highway concessionaire Autopista los Libertadores, and on US$130mn in bonds by Autopista del Sol. The outlook for both is stable. Shares in Mexican engineering and construction company ICA reported a 58% fall in 2002, closing the year at 1.76 pesos (US$0.17) compared to 4.18 (US$0.40) in 2001. In dollar terms the fall was 63%. Peru's state airport and aviation authority Corpac invested around 40mn soles (US$11.6mn) in improving the country's airport infrastructure in 2002. COMING UP Jan.17: Brazil's Sao Paulo state railroad company CPTM to open technical bids for pre-qualified groups competing for a contract to conduct the engineering designs for second phase of Sao Paulo city's line 5 metro. Jan.18: Antofagasta port company EPA to decide on technical offer for a 20-year concession to operate the state-owned facility in Chile's northern Region II. If EPA approves technical details, it will open the economic offer January 20. Jan.31: Deadline for US firms to present proposals to Venezuela's Anzoategui state port authority (PASA) for a US Trade & Development Agency-sponsored feasibility study on Guanta port expansion plans. Feb.15: The Buenaventura-Yumbo-Cali-Buga route on Colombia's 498km Pacific railroad project scheduled to start operations. Feb.17: Bids due for contract to build a new port at La Union in southern El Salvador. Feb.26: Auction for 20-year concession to operate Uruguay's Carrasco international airport. March: The UN's Development Program (UNDP) to open technical offers for the eight-month study to define the technical, economic and administrative aspects of the Paraguay-Parana waterway improvement project. The "Hidrovia Paraguay-Parana" program, estimated to cost US$80mn, aims to facilitate navigation and transport along a series of waterways that pass through Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. March 7: AAG, the airport authority of Ecuador's largest city Guayaquil, to close pre-qualification period for parties interested in competing for the 15-year concession to upgrade and operate the city's Simon Bolivar international airport.

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