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Sale of water utilities may fund metro expansion (Chile)
The Chilean government has said it may use proceeds from the upcoming sale of its stake in four water utilities to fund the expansion of capital Santiago's metro system.


State development agency Corfo VP Hernan Cheyre visited the offices of state-owned firm Metro on Wednesday to discuss plans to build lines 3 and 6 of the subway, the agency said in a release.


Both projects are currently at the evaluation stage. Line 3, budgeted at US$400mn, will run through the center of Santiago linking the north and south of the capital, while line 6 will connect the districts of Cerrillos and Vitacura and is expected to cost at least US$1bn.


The two new lines will total over 36km, incorporating five new boroughs into the network, and would provide around 180mn journeys annually, the release said.


Corfo approved the decision to sell its minority stake in utilities Aguas Andinas, Esval, Essbio and Essal last week. The assets reportedly provide the agency with income of US$150mn/y.


The government had originally said that the sale of the water utility shares, worth an estimated US$1.6bn, would be used to fund efforts to rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by the earthquake that devastated central-southern parts of the country in February.


The sale is expected to be completed during 2011.

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