Spanish, Chinese firms to build railway in Bolivia

La Paz, Sep 21 (IANS/EFE) – A 148-km railway line in central Bolivia will be built by a Spanish company and two Chinese firms, President Evo Morales has announced.

The $250 million project for this landlocked country, located in central South America, will be financed by La Paz.

The construction of the railway has been divided into three sections, which were awarded to China's CAMC and China Railway and to Yapilo, which is responsible for the bridges.

Jose Manuel Otero, president of Spanish construction firm Puentes y Calzadas, which leads the Yapilo consortium, signed one of the contracts Thursday in eastern Bolivia with the Andean nation's Public Works Ministry, an official said.

Morales was on hand for the signing ceremony in the eastern town of Montero, Santa Cruz province, one end of the planned railway that will run to Bulo Bulo, a town in the central province of Cochabamba.

The contracts with the Chinese companies will be signed in a few days once the necessary bank documents have been submitted, the president said.

The first and second sections will cost $104 million and $83 million respectively, while the bridges will cost a $47 million, he added

The remaining funds will cover the cost of supervising and inspecting the project, to be completed in two years.

The railway will link up with another line in Santa Cruz, facilitating shipments of urea and ammonia from a petrochemical plant in Bulo Bulo to Brazil and Argentina.

In future, the Montero-Bulo Bulo line will be part of a larger rail network connecting Atlantic and Pacific ports, Morales said, adding that he had discussed that project with Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff.

--Indo-Asia News Service