SANTIAGO – Units of Spanish construction companies OHL, Sacyr Vallehermoso and FCC, are among the seven bidders for a project to expand the El Melon tunnel in Chile’s central Valparaiso region, officials said Thursday.
The project calls for a $128 million investment outlay and the construction of a second tunnel adjacent to the current one, which is five kilometers (3.1 miles) long and located on Highway 5 North in Petorca and Quillota provinces.
The Public Works Ministry said the project would help jumpstart growth and create jobs and that the bids received were a sign of the companies’ confidence in Chile and its economy.
The bids were received by OHL Concesiones Chile S.A; Sacyr Concesiones Chile S.A; Conpax Energia y Concesiones S.A; Concesiones Viarias Chile Tres S.A; FCC Construccion S.A.; Consorcio Echeverria Izquierdo-Arauco; and Highway Investment Chile S.A.
The next step in the so-called “re-tender” process is scheduled for March 7, when the bids will be opened and a determination made as to which company or consortium will build and operate the new tunnel.
El Melon tunnel, which was awarded in April 1993 and began operating on Sept. 13, 1995, was the first public works project granted in Chile as a private concession.