Argentina signs contract for high-speed railway network

April 30th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by admin  

Buenos Aires, April 30 (IANS) Argentina has signed a contract with a consortium led by France’s Alstom for construction of a high-speed passenger railway network, linking the capital with two major cities of Rosario and Cordoba, EFE news agency reported. President Cristina Fernandez, after attending the signing ceremony Tuesday, said the railway would cover a major agro-industrial corridor in the country, besides connecting 70 percent of the population.

“It is a project that will change the region’s profile as it will bring together practically 70 percent of the country’s population and cover the most important agro-industrial corridor in Argentina,” Fernandez said.

Around $2.07 billion will be spent on the project.

Fernandez said the government “obtained 100 percent financing, with a grace period of seven years and a repayment term of 30 years” for the project.

The contract was awarded in mid-January to Veloxia consortium headed by Alstom. Spain’s Isolux and Argentina’s Iecsa and Emepa companies are partners in the project.

According to a government estimate, some 20,000 people will get jobs when the construction starts.

Argentina also plans to build high-speed railway lines linking the capital with the Atlantic coastal resort of Mar del Plata, as well as the western city of Mendoza.

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