Brazilian railway projects ready for bidding this year or early 2020

Brazil’s Ferrograo and FIOL railway projects, which will serve the country’s central grain belt, will be ready for bidding this year or early 2020, reported Reuters on 21 January.

The Ferrograo grain railway is set to take about 10 years to build and will run from Sinop in the southern state of Mato Grosso, to Miritituba on the Tapajos river, according to the head of Brazil’s Investment Partnerships Programme (IPP) Adalberto Vasconcelos. From there, barges would transport cargo along the Amazon river to world markets.

The FICO and FIOL railways would connect Brazil’s farm belt to the North-South line and Atlantic ports, with capacity to transport 8M tonnes/year of grain.

Vasconcelos told Reuters that the government was aiming to reduce reliance on roads to transport grain by building more railway lines and getting current operators to invest in expansions.

By 2025, Brazil hoped to increase the amount of cargo moved by rail to 31% from 15%.

Brazil’s recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on 1 January, is boosting the IPP programme to speed up improvements to the country’s deficient infrastructure, which added to the cost of exporting Brazilian soya, Reuters said. The IPP programme is tasked with luring private investment into Brazil’s infrastructure.

Vasconcelos said that the mining company Vale SA and logistics firm Rumo SA were also expected to sign early renewal of rail concessions this year.

And to improve air travel for tourism, farming and the oil industry, 20 airports would be auctioned on 15 March.