May 15, 2020 / 8:21 PM / 10 days ago

Spain's Azvi and Mexican firms wins bid for Mexico's 'Mayan Train'

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A consortium made up of a Spanish and two Mexican construction firms won a bid to build a part of the government’s $8 billion “Mayan Train” project planned for southern Mexico, officials said on Thursday.

The rail project is a top priority of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who hopes it will be a major generator of jobs in Mexico’s poorer south.

Spain-based Azvi S.A.U., its Mexican unit Construcciones Urales S.A. de C.V. and Mexican firm Gami Ingenieria e Instalaciones S.A. de C.V. presented a bid of 10.19 billion pesos ($424.71 million) to construct the train’s third segment, according to the National Fund for Tourism Promotion, or Fonatur.

The group offered the best proposal for price and quality compared with 15 other contenders including companies from Portugal and China, Fonatur said, and the decision was backed by the United Nations Office for Project Services.

The bidders for the third phase included a consortium of companies controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, which last month won the contract to build the train’s second segment.

In March, officials awarded the contract for the first phase to a consortium led by Portugal’s Mota-Engil and China Communications Construction Company.

The third section of the rail line will stretch about 107 miles (172 km), from Calkini in Campeche state to Izamal in Yucatan state. Construction is slated to begin on May 25, pending authorization from health authorities.

Construction on the project this year will generate 80,000 jobs, Fonatur said.

The 1,470-km (913-mile) rail line is designed to connect tourist hot spots from southern Chiapas state to the Yucatan Peninsula along the Atlantic coast, including the popular Maya ruins of Palenque and Chichen Itza to the beach resort Cancun.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon, additional reporting by Diego Ore and Raul Cortes Fernandez; editing by Drazen Jorgic and Grant McCool

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