Unasur March meeting to study inter-oceanic railway

Monday, December 15, 2014

South American group of nations Unasur plans to hold a meeting in March to study the US$7.5bn inter-oceanic railway project, a Bolivian government official said.

Ministers from the 13-nation group will meet in Santa Cruz, Bolivia to analyze the project known as the Corredor Bioceánico, Bolivia's public works minister Vladimir Sánchez said. The transport ministries of Peru and Brazil have both requested more information about the project, Sánchez said.

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"We were recently in a ministerial meeting in Montevideo and priority will be given to a Unasur working group on the central inter-oceanic corridor," Sánchez told Bolivia's state news agency ABI.

The project involves a 3,360km route from the Brazilian port of Santos through Bolivia to the Peruvian port of Ilo. About 1,600km of rail track will be built in Bolivia, while 1,551km have already been built from Santos to Puerto Suárez on the Bolivia-Brazil border, according to Sánchez.

Bolivia's government plans to invest US$2.5bn in infrastructure projects next year, part of a total US$6.18bn in public spending that will include the telecom, energy, water and transport sectors.