LIMA, Sept 19 The government of Peruvian
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Monday it was negotiating
changes to shave costs off a $5.6 billion metro contract, one of
two major public work projects awarded to a sole bidder by the
Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne said the transportation
ministry asked the consortium that holds the 35-year
private-public concession to consider building more of the 35-km
(22-mile) electric railway above ground.
The consortium, Sociedad Concesionaria Metro de Lima Linea 2
SA, is controlled by Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras SA,
a subsidiary of Spain-based Acs Actividades de Construccion y
State bidding agency Proinversion awarded the project to the
group in March 2014 after its competitors unexpectedly dropped
out of the contest a week prior.
"The previous government left us with a signed contract and
we have to seek a deal in which we can obtain benefits for the
state," Thorne said in broadcast comments before Congress. "But
we do not want to trigger international arbitration."
The consortium declined to comment. Iridium and Acs did not
answer phone calls or emails outside regular working hours.
Thorne did not suggest any wrongdoing in the bidding
process. He has previously said that the government plans to
overhaul Proinversion in part to ensure auctions are more
Delays related to government permitting and the
expropriation of lands have held up construction on the metro
line, now about 10 percent complete, the consortium said.
The project would be the first subway line for the heavily
congested Lima urban area.
Proinversion also awarded a contract for the construction
and operation of a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to sole
bidder Odebrecht SA in 2014.
Odebrecht is now in the process of selling its stake in the
(Reporting By Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Cynthia