The Ministry of Transport again delayed the USD 2.8 billion tender to purchase 169 new EMUs. They claim that it is at the request of the interested parties, to offer better financing proposals through development banks in their countries of origin. The uncertainty about the RER also casts a shadow of doubts about the need for such a large purchase.
The Ministry of Transport in Argentina says that “the main interested international bidders requested extension of deadlines”, so the opening of envelopes is postponed once again. This is due to the fact that the companies would have asked for more time to offer “competitive financing proposals from development banks in their countries of origin”.
Although it is not certain that all of them will finally bid, at the time 13 companies from different parts of the world had expressed their interest in participating to the tender: Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, CRRC, Hyundai Rotem, Mitsubishi, KBR, Stadler Rail, CAF, Transmashholding and Argentinian companies Emepa, Materfer and Benito Roggio.
According to the specifications, the number of cars that will integrate each training is at the bidder’s discretion, as long as a certain length of the trains is respected.
In addition to the orders of the companies, one of the factors that has influenced the delay of the tender is related to the lack of definition of the RER project (Red de Expresos Regionales-Regional Express Network), which has been postponed without any date.
The USD 2.3 billion first phase of the Buenos Aires RER project will be implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP).
Although these trains could circulate through the existing infrastructure (Roca line) or through lines whose electrification is about to begin (in the case of the San Martín line), their quantity was commissioned thinking of the RER finished. In other words, if the RER is not carried out and the Miter and Sarmiento lines are not electrified to catenary and 25 kV – by far, one of the railway works that initiated the greatest reservations and questions among the specialists, a purchase of such magnitude (more than 1300 wide gauge cars are calculated) would be unnecessary.