China-led consortium only bidder in major Mexico rail project
MEXICO CITY Oct 15 (Reuters) - A Chinese-led consortium is the only competitor in the bid to win a lucrative tender for a high-speed passenger train linking Mexico City and the central city of Queretaro, the Mexican Transport and Communications Ministry said on Wednesday.
The group led by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd. was the only consortium to present a bid for the 210-km (130-mile) line, a spokesman for the ministry said, adding that this did not mean it had won the project.
If the proposal did not meet the requirements, the bidding process could start again, the spokesman said.
The government wants the project to allow 23,000 passengers to move daily from Queretaro at speeds of up to 300 kph. How much the planned connection will cost is unclear, but the price tag has been estimated at more than $3 billion.
Executives from Canada's Bombardier and German industrial conglomerate Siemens had previously expressed an interest in taking part in upcoming rail projects in Mexico.
Queretaro is one of the main industrial hubs in Mexico and a center of the country's aerospace sector.
Under President Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico has sought to forge closer business ties with China, and winning the prestigious project would be a coup for a Chinese company.
The ministry has said the project could create 20,000 direct jobs and take 18,000 passenger cars off the road. (Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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