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Mexico's transport ministry SCT said it will compensate the China Railway Construction Corporation-led consortium that won the Mexico City-Querétaro high speed passenger train tender, which was voided last week.
International news agencies reported this week that the Chinese government and CRCC are exploring legal options following the decision by President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration to cancel the tender process after the SCT awarded it on November 3.
The CRCC-led group, which also includes four Mexican companies – Constructora y Edificadora Gia, Prodemex, GHP Infraestructura Mexicana and Constructora Teya – was the sole bidder with a 50.8bn-peso (US$3.75bn) offer.
"In accordance with the public works and related services law, when a tender is canceled after being awarded, we will look at the costs incurred in the presentation [of the bid] and will negotiate the damages that all of this may have meant," SCT general director for rail and multimodal transport, Pablo Suárez Coello, was quoted as saying by Milenio newspaper.
The SCT previously said the tender – which was canceled after local media raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest involving the group's Mexican companies – will be relaunched "with the goal of providing more time and facilitating the involvement of a higher number of train manufacturers".
The high speed train will cover 210km between the Buenavista station in Mexico City and downtown Querétaro city, reaching speeds of up to 300km/hour.