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Talgo to participate in bullet train tender (Brazil)

Spanish railway equipment manufacturer Talgo has said it will participate in the tender for the 33.1bn-real (US$20bn) Rio-São Paulo-Campinas bullet train, news service Agência Estado reported.

Talgo is currently negotiating with 13 other firms, including large Brazilian construction companies, to form a second consortium to participate in the tender. Consortium TAV Brazil, comprised of 20 firms including South Korean giants Hyundai Heavy, Samsung SDS, LG CNS and Daewoo, will also participate.

"We are still negotiating [with other firms]. We've completed our proposal, but I don't think we will be able to reach an agreement with all participants until April 11," said Talgo president José María Oriol, referring to the day bids are due.

Brazil's federal district justice ministry (MPF/DF) last week recommended that national ground transport agency ANTT suspend the bullet train tender in an effort to correct legal and constitutional irregularities surrounding the process.

Several players have expressed concern over demand for the bullet train, which the federal government expects to handle 33mn passengers annually. Japan's Mitsui, one of the prospective bidders, has also called for the project to be postponed, saying its own studies show passenger demand to be much lower.

ANTT has already pushed back the tender schedule once, after participating companies requested more time to prepare bids. The contract is due to be awarded April 29.

The bullet train project involves building a 511km railroad, including 90

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