Mexico to compensate China's CRCC for canceling rail project

jueves 21 de mayo de 2015 23:51 GYT

MEXICO CITY May 21 (Reuters) - The Chinese company at the helm of a consortium that won a $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract last year which was later revoked will be compensated almost 20 million pesos ($1.31 million), a transport ministry official said on Thursday.

The contract, for which the consortium led by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) was the only bidder, was abruptly revoked last fall shortly after it was awarded.

Days later, the government became embroiled in a conflict of interest scandal when it emerged that the wife of President Enrique Pena Nieto was in the process of acquiring a house from one of the Mexican companies in the consortium.

Earlier this year, after the Mexican government relaunched the bid and then canceled it for a second time citing budget cuts, the CRCC gave the SCT a list of costs incurred during the tender and requested compensation.

Yuriria Mascott, a deputy minister at Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry, told reporters on Thursday that the government had completed an analysis of CRCC's costs.

"The legal team informed me that what is to be expected is almost 20 million (pesos)" in compensation, she said.

($1 = 15.2099 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Jean Luis Arce; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Stephen Coates)