Carlos Slim consortium wins second section of Mexico’s Maya train line

A consortium of companies controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim has won the competition to build the second section of the Mexican government’s flagship Mayan Train project, Mexico’s tourist development agency Fonatur announced yesterday (30 April).

Operadora Cicsa, owned by Slim, and FCC, a Spanish contractor controlled by his Inversora Carso investment company, was one of 15 bids for the line (see further reading). This team put in the fourth cheapest tender for the work, behind two Mexican consortiums and a group led by Spain’s Copasa.

Fonatur said on its website: "Regarding technical criteria, this consortium ranked as the best technical offer in the areas: quality of work, capacity of the bidder, experience and specialty of the bidder, fulfilment of contracts and national content and labour."

Section 2 of the Maya Train route will run for about 235km from the towns of Escárcega and Calkiní in the state of Campeche.
Work is set to begin on 12 May, if the Ministry of Health approves the plan, Fonatur announced on Tuesday. Four other sections will begin this year and two in 2021.

The Mexican government’s map of the Mayan railway

The project, which will connect tourist destinations and population centres on the Yucatán peninsula, is being billed by Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the key to restarting the country’s economy after the coronavirus slump, and will also attract investment to Mexico’s poorer southern states.

Last month, the contract for the first construction phase was awarded to a consortium led by Portugal’s Mota-Engil and China Communications Construction Company.

Operadora Cicsa and FCC have also entered a bid for the third segment of the line.

Top image: Temple of the Masks in Kabah (Rob Young/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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