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JUNE 4, 2019

Following the presidential announcement: Public Works and EFE agree on the development of a Santiago - Valparaíso - San Antonio railway project

The initiative forms part of a US$20 billion investment plan for infrastructure that is to be completed by 2022. “This is a priority project, which is why we signed the mandate through which the State Railways Company (EFE) entrusts us with the study and future tender of this railway solution”, Public Works Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine remarked.

This morning, Public Works Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine and Transportation Minister Gloria Hutt led the signing of the mandate between EFE and Public Works for the development of the railway construction project between Santiago - Valparaíso and San Antonio, an initiative that was announced in the recent Public Account presented by President Sebastián Piñera. It is part of a  US$20 billion investment plan for infrastructure to be completed by 2022.

“President Piñera announced that this is a priority project and that is why today we proceeded to sign the mandate through which the State Railways Company (EFE) entrusts us to the study and future tender for this railway solution that will connect Santiago with the ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio”, stated Public Works Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine, regarding the private initiative that was declared as being of public interest.

Minister Fontaine explained that there are two projects that were declared of public interest after a favorable recommendation from the Council of Concessions and the State Railways Company. “There are two initiatives that have been declared of public interest, which allows the State through the Public Works Ministry to participate in financing the detailed studies that will lead to a decision”.

He noted that the entities agreed to create a committee that will be in charge of the future of the project. “This committee will be composed of two representatives from the Public Works Ministry, two from the Transportation Ministry and two from the State Railways Company, as well as an international advising entity. It will be responsible for carrying out the evaluation and comparison in order to make the decision as to which of the two proposals goes ahead with the stages of design and subsequent international bidding for its construction and operation”.

Transportation Minister Gloria Hutt added, “There is a need for a railway connection between the Metropolitan Region and Valparaíso and San Antonio, because we must never forget that we have port expansion projects being developed and one could not imagine developing the ports without an adequate railway connection. So there is no question regarding the need for this project for both cargo and passenger transport”.

For his part, EFE President Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, stated that “This mandate reflects EFE’s interest in supporting private initiatives that contribute to the development of the railway network, safeguarding the interests of the State”.

During this morning’s event at the Railway Museum in the Quinta Normal neighborhood, the Public Works and Transport Ministers were accompanied by Public Works Undersecretary Lucas Palacios; the General Director of Concessions, Hugo Vera; the Mayor of Valparaíso, Jorge Martínez; Senators Francisco Chahuán, Ricardo Lagos Weber and Kenneth Pugh; Congressional Representatives Osvaldo Urrutia, Camila Flores, Andrés Celis, Andrés Longton, Sebastián Torrealba and Rodrigo González; and the mayors of Viña del Mar, Virginia Reginato and Casablanca, Rodrigo Martínez.

Public Works for Chile

In his Public Account, President Sebastián Piñera announced a major infrastructure investment plan totaling over US$20 billion for his current term, highlighting the execution of emblematic projects such as the bridge over the Chacao Channel of Chiloé, the Américo Vespucio East motorway, te Felix Bulnes and Salvador hospitals, stadiums and the restoration of works of heritage value.

In regard to road infrastructure, the plan includes 17,000 kilometers of roads, including 10,000 kilometers of basic roads, 4,000 kilometers of roads in indigenous communities and the construction of third lanes on the country’s busiest highways, such as Route 5 South and Route 78.

There are also plans to update airports such as Arturo Merino Benítez in Santiago, La Florida in La Serena, Torquemada in Viña del Mar and the airports of Pucón in La Araucanía, Pichoy in Valdivia, Carriel Sur in Concepción, Balmaceda in Aysén and Carlos Ibáñez del Campo in Punta Arenas.