Brazil delays Rio - Sao Paulo high-speed train due to lack of competition

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Brazil delays Rio - Sao Paulo high-speed train due to lack of competition

Brazil's government delayed bidding for the Sao Paulo - Rio de Janeiro high-speed train project for at least one year because there was only one confirmed consortium competing for the R$38 billion ($16.7 billion) deal, Transport Minister César Borges announced on Monday.

Borges said at a news conference that lack of competition led the government to postpone the tender for the bullet train project, after Spanish and German groups guaranteed that they will bid if given more time.

The one participant likely to compete was a consortium from France which included Alstom and SNCF Group. The others requesting postponements involve German and Spanish consortiums which include Germany's Siemens and Spain's Talgo and Renfe, according to local media reports.

The project has suffered a series of delays and cost revisions in recent years. A previous tender in 2011 had to be canceled due to the absence of bids, leading the government to improve the terms for investors last year.

The head of Brazil's infrastructure agency EPL, Bernardo Figueiredo said there are hopes that Japanese and South Korea companies that had shown interest but dropped out will now present bids. Those companies include South Korea's Hyundai Corp and Japan's Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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