Brazil to put off train tender as Spanish bidders ask for time
BRASILIA Aug 12 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has decided to put off an upcoming bullet train tender, a source informed of the decision said on Monday, after a Spanish consortium in the running for the blockbuster contract requested more time to prepare its bid.
The head of Brazil's government infrastructure agency EPL, Bernardo Figueiredo, said last week that any decision to delay bidding would be aimed at attracting as many offers as possible.
Officials have said the consortium including Spanish state train operator Renfe would not be excluded from bidding after a crash that killed dozens last month. A group including France's Alstom is also expected to bid on the project.
The high-speed rail link planned for the 260 miles (420 km) between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's two biggest cities, is expected to cost some 38 billion ($17 billion) reais.
The bullet train is at the heart of more than $100 billion in private road, rail and port concessions announced by President Rousseff. It has faced a string of postponements and budget revisions in recent years.