RPT-UPDATE 6-Mexico scraps $3.75 bln China rail deal ahead of state visit
(Repeats to widen distribution)
By Michael O'Boyle and Dave Graham
MEXICO CITY Nov 7 (Reuters) - Mexico has revoked a $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract from a China-led consortium after its uncontested bid prompted an outcry from lawmakers, souring a state visit to Beijing next week by President Enrique Peña Nieto.
After the contract to build the link was awarded on Monday, opposition politicians accused the government of favoring the group led by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd, the sole bidder.
Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry, which has defended the bidding process, said on Friday it expects to re-run the tender in late November under the same terms, and would keep it open for six months to enable all interested parties to participate.
"The president wants this project which is so important for Mexico to not be questioned, to have absolute clarity," Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said. "We expect more participation from train makers in the new tender."
China Railway Construction can take part in the new tender and could be eligible for compensation since Mexico's government withdrew the contract, he added.
French engineering group Alstom SA and Canada's Bombardier Inc said they would consider taking part in the new tender.