The Phase 2 contract will be signed within 60 days and encompasses the construction of tunnels, 13 of the 15 stations on the 22.5km line, electrical and mechanical systems, and depot and stabling facilities. Quito Metro says the consortium was selected because it submitted the lowest-priced bid that was fully compliant with the technical specification.

The Phase 1 contract, which covers construction of El Labrador and La Magdalena stations, was awarded to Acciona in 2012, and tendering began last year for a contract to supply 18 six-car trains and four maintenance vehicles.

The $US 2bn project is being funded by the Municipality of Quito (63%) and the Ecuadorian government (37%) with financing from international institutions including the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).