Mexico reopens bidding for high-speed train project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEXICO CITY  |   2015-01-15 14:50:01

 

Mexico reopens bidding

for high-speed train project

 

 

By Mao Pengfei

 

 

Mexico relaunched bidding for its first high-speed railway project on Wednesday of January 14, setting fresh preliminary terms after the Latin American country abruptly annulled a win by a Chinese-led consortium two months ago.

New bidding for the high-speed rail project linking Mexico City with the industrial city of Queretaro will be opening for 180 days, according to a bidding invitation notice published on the website of Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Bidders need to submit tenders by July 14 and the winner will be finally announced on July 31, according to the notice.

The new terms unveiled are similar to the previous ones, requiring the winner to be responsible for the designing and construction of the railway system, provide the high-speed trains, and take care of their operation and maintenance in the first five years.

The notice did not reveal the exact value of the project. It was worth 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in last November’s bidding.

The Mexican high-speed rail project covers a distance of 210 km, designed with a maximum speed of 300 km per hour. Upon completion, the rail will be able to transport 27,000 passengers per day.

Due to domestic reasons, the Mexican government canceled the bidding won last November by the Chinese-led consortium, which groups the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and several Mexican construction firms.

With sharpened competitive edge, the consortium has decided to re-enter the bidding this time.

The CRCC has participated in dozens of overseas railway construction projects, including the high-speed railway from Ankara to Istanbul in Turkey and China’s CRH380 bullet train which has had smooth operation on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Rail for more than three years.

The Chinese railway industry has comparative advantages in construction technologies, cost control, and productivity of labor, Zhou Lei, chairman of CRCC International Co., Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary under CRCC, told Xinhua.

Analysts say the Chinese bidder’s financing power is also highly competitive and can offer much more favorable terms than any other rivals.

They believe that such a tender is very significant to the Mexican government which is seeking to open up its energy sector to foreign investors.

To help activate the economy and improve communication, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced at the start of his term in 2012 that his government would promote several rail infrastructure projects.

The high-speed train project open for bidding will be one of Nieto’s flagship infrastructure investments. After its completion, travel by train between Mexico City and Queretaro will merely take about one hour.

The Mexican government is reportedly expected to extend the project north to include the second city of Guadalajara after the first leg of the project is finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Image provided by Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT, for its acronym

in Spanish) shows Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza

(4th from left), and the SCT’s director of Rail Transport, Pablo Suarez Coello (2nd from left),

attending a press conference in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, on November 3, 2014. 

Photo – Xinhua / SCT

 

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Fair competition

should be guaranteed

for Chinese rail enterprise in Mexico

 

By Liang Xizhi

 

A China-Mexico joint consortium will tender again a bid on Wednesday of January 14 for a high-speed railway project in Mexico after the Latin American country abruptly annulled its win two months ago.

The Chinese-led consortium, formed by the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and several Mexican construction firms, won the bid last November to build a 210-km high-speed railway connecting Mexico City with the industrial hub of Queretaro to the north. However, Mexico revoked the 4.4-billion-U.S.-dollar deal days later out of domestic issues.

Despite the high-profile setback, the Chinese enterprise has decided to re-enter the bidding for the railway project, as it is well-qualified for the projects.

With abundant operation experiences, the CRCC has had advanced, reliable and cost-efficient high-speed railway technologies.

To date, it has participated in the construction of dozens of overseas railway construction projects, including the Turkish high-speed railway from Ankara to Istanbul.

Along with the overseas deals, the company has also built a great number of high-speed railway lines that crisscross the vast regions with different geographies at home.

Besides, the Chinese railway industry also has comparative advantages in construction technologies, cost control, and productivity of labor.

It is highly hoped that the Mexican government should guarantee a fair competition this time for the Chinese enterprising investment in the country.

As a developing country, China has viewed China-Mexico economic and trade cooperation from a strategic perspective and has insisted on win-win cooperation based on equality and mutual trust.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged, during the first ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC forum concluded last week, Latin Amercian countries to provide a fair competition environment and impartial legal protection for Chinese goods such as equipment entering local markets.

Without huge investment projects in previous economic cooperation between the two countries, investment of Chinese companies in Mexico’s high-speed railway construction will help drive the development of bilateral ties forward. It will not only benefit the Chinese railway industry, but will also bring job opportunities to Mexico.

The enhancement of cooperation between China and Mexico in high-speed rail constructin is in line with the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto in June 2013, when the Mexican president promised that his country was willing to create favorable conditions to attract more Chinese investment.

Now, it is time for the Mexican government to fulfill the pledge and create a fair investment and operation environment for the Chinese rail enterprise to achieve win-win results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2015-01-15 21:33:01

 

China demands

fair bidding environment

on Mexican HSR link

 

By Bai Jie

 

China on Thursday responded to Mexico’s relaunch of bidding for its first high-speed railway, calling for a fair, competitive system.

A Chinese-led consortium, including the China Railway Construction Corporation and several Mexican firms, had their original winning bid rejected in November, but will bid for the project again.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei told a daily press briefing in Beijing that China has always supported its enterprises with high capabilities and a good reputation when participating in infrastructure cooperation projects abroad.

“We hope Chinese enterprises will cooperate with Mexico this time on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win, and that the cooperation will promote the development and benefit both sides,” Hong said.

“We also hope Mexico can provide a fair competitive environment for all who participate the bid,” Hong added.

Mexico on Wednesday reopened bidding for its first high-speed railway, two months after the Chinese-led bid was abruptly canceled.

Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport on Nov. 6 announced to annul the 4.4-billion-U.S.-dollar deal due to public concerns about the bidding process.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed his regret over the Mexican decision when he met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Nov. 11in Beijing.

He asked the Mexican government to “fairly” treat Chinese enterprises investing in the country and achieve early, substantive results from relevant cooperation.

Mexico said bidders need to submit tenders by July 14 and the winner will be announced on July 31.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2015-02-02 12:47:29

 

China calls on Mexico

to manage consequences of

HSR project suspension

 

 

By Zhang Xu, Zhao Chao and An Bei

 

 

China’s top economic planner on Monday urged the Mexican government to properly handle the aftermath of its suspension of a high-speed rail (HSR) project, which had effected Chinese enterprises.

A spokesperson from the National Development and Reform Commission said that China regretted Mexico’s decision to suspend the HSR project, which would have connected Mexico City with the central state of Queretaro.

Mexico needs to “value and properly cope with the huge manpower and money Chinese enterprises invested in the project bid, and carry out measures for further bilateral cooperation”, said the spokesperson.

Luis Videgaray, the Mexican minister of finance, on Friday announced the project’s “indefinite” suspension, as well as canceling a proposed trans-peninsular rail line, after budget cuts.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2015-02-02 21:43:11

 

Mexico urged to ensure

Chinese firms’ rights, interests

 

By Hao Yalin

 

China on Monday urged Mexico to ensure legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises after the Mexican government suspended a high-speed railway project, in which a Chinese-led consortium was a bidder.

“We noticed the Mexican government’s decision. China hopes the Mexican government can properly deal with subsequent problems, and ensure the Chinese enterprises’ legal rights and interests with concrete measures,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.

A spokesperson from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, said early Monday that China regretted Mexico’s decision.

The spokesperson said the Chinese enterprises had invested huge manpower and money in the project bid, and China hoped the Mexican government can properly deal with the consequences of the suspension.

The new line, which was expected to cost 3.75 billion U.S. dollars to build, would have connected Mexico City with the central state of Queretaro. The bid for the project was won by a group including the China Railway Construction Corporation in November, but it was soon canceled by the Mexican government for domestic reasons. Another bidding for the high-speed railway project was reopened last month.

Mexico’s finance minister on Friday announced the project’s “indefinite” suspension, as well as canceling a proposed trans-peninsular rail line, after the government’s budget cuts for this year.

Hong Lei said Chinese enterprises are globally competitive in high speed rail technology and operation, and are increasingly going global.

The Chinese government will continue to encourage and support enterprises in this drive, he told a regular press briefing in Beijing.

The spokesman also said that cooperation between China and Mexico is in the interests of the two countries, and expressed hope that the two sides can cooperate more in future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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