CONSTRUCTION of the 405km Guarapuava - Paranaguá freight line has been approved, the final project from a list of 10 submitted to the Brazilian Ministry of Infrastructure last September.

This follows approval of the 76km Maracaju - Dourados, 166km Cascavel - Foz do Iguaçu and 286km Cascavel - Chapecó lines earlier this month. The four lines are part of the Paraná Nova Ferroeste project that will allow freight to travel from Paraguay and Argentina to Brazil and for export from Brazilian ports.

The next stage is for an Environmental Impact Study to be analysed by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). Once that is approved there will be a 45-day period for public hearings, scheduled by the regulatory body.

The Nova Ferroeste project will link Maracaju with Paranaguá and will eventually be 1304km long. There is already a concession for the section between Guarapuava and Dourados based on a contract signed in the in 1990s.

Trains will carry sugar, beef, poultry, pork, soy, corn, wheat grains, bran, wood and fertiliser.

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