LA PAZ – The Bolivian Public Works, Economy and Planning Ministries are examining the Spanish proposal to finance the bioceanic rail line being pushed by La Paz, an initiative that the United Kingdom and a Swiss-German consortium are also bidding on, a government minister with the South American nation said Monday.
Public Works Minister Milton Claros held a press conference to say that the Spanish proposal includes “financing alternatives” by Madrid’s institutions and agencies to handle the project’s cost, which is estimated to amount to some $14 billion.
The project being pushed by Bolivia – Claros said – will require six years to complete and seeks to link Brazil’s Atlantic port of Santos with Peru’s port of Ilo, on the Pacific, via a route 3,744 kilometers (2,321 miles) long.
In addition to Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, both Paraguay and Uruguay have expressed interest in the project, which could come to fruition thanks to the Paraguay-Parana waterway.
Several Spanish firms “want to execute the project” and have submitted proposals and the financing “conditions,” and that material is currently being evaluated in detail by the three Bolivian ministries, said Claros, without providing further details.
The Bolivian government has emphasized the viability of the project, arguing that to bring it to fruition only 800 km of the route, of which half corresponds to a stretch within Bolivia and the other half in Peru, remains to be completed, a situation that gives the project an advantage over other potential alternatives.