French consulting engineer Systra has announced two consulting contracts in Brazil, signalling an increase of its presence in the South American country "despite the adverse market environment".
Through a subsidiary acquired last year, Tectran, Systra won an extension to a transport consulting contract in Belo Horizonte, and signed a new contract to advise on the renewal of a major transport corridor in Rio de Janeiro.
"The Systra Group is therefore increasing its presence in Brazil, despite the adverse market environment," the firm said on 21 October.
The wins come as Brazil’s biggest domestic construction firms are ensnared in a vast corruption probe relating to bribes paid to state oil firm Petrobras.
As the probe known as Operation Lava Jato enters its third year, nearly 200 executives and former politicians have been charged, and more than 80 have been found guilty.
Brazil’s largest construction company, Odebrecht may have to pay as much as $2bn to settle with investigators, and its chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht has been jailed for 19 years.
In Belo Horizonte Tectran has been working for the State of Minas Gérais for more than four years helping it to monitor bus concessions. In June, Systra said, the state’s Transport and Public Works Secretariat (SETOP) renewed Tectran’s contract for another year. The contract is worth €650,000.
In Rio de Janeiro Tectran has been hired to prepare a study on renewing a transport corridor.
Conducted with the Atelier Parisien d’Urbanisme (APUR) and Agence FranÃ§aise de Développement (AFD), this six-month study define several development scenarios and the improvement of a congested urban artery used by more than 1 million inhabitants.
The final report will be delivered in December. This contract is worth €260,000, Systra said.
"Despite a difficult economic environment, Brazil remains a key market for the Group’s development," Systra said. "With a population of 204 million inhabitants and a land area of 8.5 million kmÂ², the country has significant transport needs."
Image: Traffic jam in Rio de Janeiro (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz Mariordo/Wikimedia Commons)