Argentina is moving forward with the plans for establishing a rail corridor between Bahía Blanca port in Buenos Aires and the Chilean port city of Talcahuano to create a Pacific-Atlantic link.
This bi-oceanic rail corridor is expected to reduce logistics costs.
Under the first of the two rail projects, around 216km of tracks will be recovered while the tracks connecting Zapala, Neuquén, and the Chilean port will be expanded by 93km, reported Bnamericas.com.
The project will be jointly executed by railway corridor administrators and Chilean ports.
Neuquén Investment Agency (ADI-NQN) president José Brillo was quoted by news portal Mejor Informado as saying: “The idea is that they also advance, in what little they have left toward Lonquimay and then establish the connection with our section on the Neuquén side. There is the possibility of moving forward firmly. First, because there are four Chilean Patagonian ports that have idle capacity. Concepción and Talcahuano, to name two, are the ones with the greatest capacity.”
The cost of executing this stage of the project will be around $792m, reported BNamericas.
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The first stage of the bi-oceanic train will help hydrocarbon exports from Neuquén and Río Negro provinces, along with the mining products from Mendoza.
In a statement, the Argentine Secretary of Energy Darío Martínez said: “We are talking about building a bi-oceanic train, of being able to take production to the Asian market through the Pacific Ocean. It is an important development that must be worked on.”
The Norpatagónico train will be developed in the second stage while around 420km of tracks and nearly 197km of the Roca Cargas railway line will be renovated.
New tracks spanning 83km have also been planned between Añelo and Contralmirante Cordero.
This stage will see an investment of nearly $784m.
The Argentinan Government is anticipating funds to be provided by China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) as part of a railway agreement with China.
For Chile, this corridor will provide enhanced connectivity and reduced logistics costs.