April 17, 2013

Financial problems stall Venezuelan project

Written by 
  • Print
  • Email

CONSTRUCTION has reportedly been suspended on a 468km railway in Venezuela because the government has failed to pay the Chinese contractor for work already carried out on the project.

China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) formed a joint venture with Venezuelan State Railways (IFE) in 2009 to build the 468km line from Tinaco, 150km west of Caracas to Anaco in Anzoategui state. At around $US 7.5bn it is one of Venezuela's largest international contracts outside the oil industry.

However, a report in the South China Morning Post quotes China Railway Group chairman Mr Li Changjin as saying that the government owes the company between $US 400m and $US 500m, and that work on the project has stopped.

The electrified double-track line was originally scheduled for completion in mid-2012, and was expected to carry 5.8 million passengers and 9.8 million tonnes of freight in the first year of operation.

Get the latest rail news

IRJ Rail Brief newsletter covers global railway news