Carlos Slim v China for $4.3bn Bogotá metro

Two bidders from a shortlist of six have stayed in the race to build a metro in the Colombian capital of Bogatá, it was announced last week, one headed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and the other by state-owned China Harbour Engineering.

The two teams are:

  • Consorcio Metro de Bogotá: made up of FCC (Spain) and Carso Infraestructura y Construcción (Mexico) with Alstom Transport (France), Barcelona Metropolitan Railway and Medellín Metro
  • APCA Metro Transmimetro: which includes China Harbour Engineering, Bombardier (Canada) and the Xi’An Metro Company.    

Consorcio Metro de Bogotá is majority owned by Slim.

A winner will be announced on 21 October and the signing of the final deal is scheduled for December. The project is due to break ground in April 2020 and the metro is expected to be operational in 2025.

Four other teams were shortlisted in June, but have since dropped out. Among the bidders were a roll call of international infrastructure builders, including Siemens, Hitachi, Salini Impregilo, Sacyr Group and Acciona.

Sacyr of Spain issued a statement announcing its withdrawal from the race. It said: "We will continue to focus on the execution of the 11 projects that we are currently carrying out in the country, as well as others that come out in the future. We congratulate the transparent process of the Bogotá Metro company and wish it all the successes to which it is the winner."

The idea for a metro was first proposed in 1967. This latest version is expected to cost around $4.3bn, with $480m of that coming from a loan from the European Investment Bank.  

The winning consortium will design, build and partially fund the line, as well as providing the rolling stock. It will then operate the system for 20 years.  

Image: Bogotá presently depends on its bendy buses for mass transit (Felipe Restrepo Acosta/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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