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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 29 May 2019

In brief: Uruguay

* Sacyr, the Spanish construction firm, has announced that the Grupo Vía Central (GVC) consortium, led by it and comprising France’s Groupe NGE as well as Uruguayan firms Saceem and Berkes, has been awarded the contract to build the ‘Ferrocarril Central’ railway project to be developed in central Uruguay. The Ferrocarril Central project is one of the main infrastructure development projects promoted by the Uruguayan government as it is linked to its plans to convince Finnish firm UPM to build a second major pulp mill in the country. As part of this, the government led by President Tabaré Vázquez has promised to improve transport links between the port of Montevideo and central Uruguay, where the new pulp mill is to be located, so that the mill’s output could be easily shipped overseas. A Sacyr statement said that GVC has secured a €735m (US$821m) contract to recondition and build the 273km railway line linking the port of Montevideo to the city of Paso de los Toros in Tacuarembó department over 36 months and to maintain the railway for the next 18 years. The statement also points out that financing for the project has already been secured from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), and international private banks.