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MOP has no plans to pursue Chacao ferry concession (Chile)

Chile's public works ministry (MOP) does not plan to pursue a tender to concession ferry services from region X's Chiloé island to the mainland across the Chacao canal, MOP's director for the region, Enrique Hoelck, told BNamericas.

MOP launched the US$62mn concession in November 2009 under the government of former president Michelle Bachelet; however, the process was halted after a lawsuit was brought by shipping company Cruz del Sur in January 2010.

The ministry appealed the injunction issued by the country's anti-trust tribunal (TDLC), which meant MOP was unable to invest in infrastructure projects on the canal until the court made a final ruling on the issue. Ministry officials are now in talks with the shipping firm to resolve the issue.

"We are reaching an agreement to be finalized by April 30 to open the possibility for the ministry to invest in infrastructure in the canal, which is what we will do," Hoelck said.

MOP plans to improve the existing ramps and improve the conditions for the current ferry operators, which will reduce service and travel times.

"In the end what matters is that residents have a better service," Hoelck added.

Although the ministry will not pursue another concession tender, the ministry hopes that once the infrastructure improvements are completed, more firms will be interested in providing service across the canal.

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