Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Transportes Terrestres (ANTT) has pushed back the deadline for bids for the $20 billion São Paulo to Brazil high-speed rail project from 11 April to 11 July.
The delay comes at the request of the bidders, ANTT said in a statement.
This is the second time that ANTT has pushed back the deadline for the project. Bids were originally due late last year, around the time of presidential and federal senate elections in Brazil.
ANTT director Bernardo Figueiredo said in the statement that consortia had previously wanted to wait for “the political situation to be defined”. Now, according to Figueiredo, the consortia requested to delay the process in order to resolve technical issues in their proposals.
The Trem de Alta Velocidade (TAV) project involves the construction of 500 kilometres of rail lines between Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Campinas, a city about 100 kilometres north of São Paulo. Trains could travel at up to 400 kilometres per hour.
The project is estimated to cost R$33.1 billion (€14.3 billion; $20.5 billion), according to the ANTT.
The project also faces a legal challenge from Brazil’s Ministério Publico Federal, an independent body of public prosecutors, who sued ANTT to protest the project’s current arbitration system, among other concerns.
ANTT said that groups from France, Spain, Korea, Germany, Japan and China had expressed interest in the project.