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Officials defend cost of US$310mn Dos Bocas rail line

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2022
Officials defend cost of US$310mn Dos Bocas rail line

Mexican officials refuted a media report which criticized the cost for the 6bn-peso (US$307mn) Roberto Ayala-Dos Bocas rail branch, planned to connect the Olmeca (formerly Dos Bocas) oil refinery in Tabasco state with the national freight network.

"The project consists of 93km with an operation and maintenance cost of 280,592 pesos per annual kilometer, which in 30 years will represent an estimated sum of 783mn pesos," the infrastructure, communications and transportation ministry (SICT) said in a statement responding to a report by daily El Universal.

The outlet reported that the rail line would cost more than the actual refinery, but the ministry clarified there was an error in the calculation of the cost and 30-year operation program. 

"An error was detected in the capture of the total amount of the investment program and project of 782,851,843,806 pesos, which should have said 782,851,843 pesos," SICT said, adding the work was transferred to navy ministry Semar in February.

Based on data from the finance ministry's (SHCP) investment portfolio, El Universal said constructing, maintaining and operating the line in the next 30 years would cost the government 734bn pesos. Citing data from energy ministry Sener, contracts would cost the government 420bn pesos to do the same for the refinery project, it added.

While the first stage of the Olmeca refinery was inaugurated on July 2, there have not been recent updates on the status of its construction.

In May, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the branch was on the list of rail projects to be completed by his administration in the southeast before 2024. 

SICT launched works last year to secure the rights-of-way between Olmeca and the national network. Preinvestment studies were completed in December 2021, however.

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