Minister confirms creation of new state-owned company for railways

On last Monday, the Minister for Planning, Miriam Belchior, confirmed that the government will create, by means of a provisional measure (MP), a new state-owned company to handle railway concessions, as O GLOBO had anticipated in today’s issue. The company, which according to the minister has no name yet, will replace Valec Engenharia, Construções e Ferrovias S.A.

Miriam explained that Valec was formed to sell the railway capacity for private sector and the role that the state-owned would perform after concessions were made was not clear. The new state-owned company will be a restructure of Valec, said the minister, stating that Valec’s structure will be used and new positions will not be created.

— It remains in charge of the execution of public works, as now does Valec, but will also be responsible for selling the capacity of railways to be constructed. Currently, we face a problem with the model, since who is in charge of railway concessions do not make things easier for other usersto use it, leaving a downtime capacity in railways – said, including:

— To ensure that our railways are used in its greatest potential, it is necessary to remove this control power that was ensured only by this referred passing right. With that, we will hired the work execution by means of a concession and then the railway capacity will be bought by the new company that will, then,  be able to sell this capacity for several interested in it.

The minister said that the government expects that the MP processing in the Congress is quick and that there are plenty of interested in the auctions that will grant railways for the public sector.  The first auction is scheduled for October 18th, for the North-South railway section between Açailândia (State of Maranhão) and Barcarena (State of Pará).

— We expect that the MP publication makes the conditions clear for the public sector and that the Congress approves it quickly. We are confident that regardless of that there are many interested both in highways and in railways. We are taking care of everything in order to obtain the greatest success in the concession process – affirmed her after a lecture at the Palácio do Planalto.

Change will not imply in delaying bids

The Minister of Transportation, César Borges, said that the change shall not delay bids for railways. Valec will, then, be called Empresa Brasileira de Ferrovias (EBF).

The change occurs at a time in which the government prepares the bid for the railway first section in a total of more than 10 thousand kilometers that will be passed for the private sector. The action for the 457-kilometer section between Açailândia (State of Maranhão) and Barcarena (State of Pará) is expected to take place in October.

— The concession has nothing to do with Valec. It will only acquire it, either with the name of Valec or with the name of Empresa Brasileira de Ferrovias (EBF) — said Borges to reporters on last Monday.

By the concession model launched last year by the government of president Dilma Rousseff, the winners of auctions for the construction of new railways will sell all of its freight capacity to the government – in this case, to the new state-owned company-, which will resell it to the interested operators.

According to the minister, the new state-owned company will have enough funds to manage to buy the freight capacity and has already received US$ 6,6 billion that will be included in the funds of the future EBF.

— No, absolutely no. It is wrong to think that this Provisional Measure (which holds the entity’s reformulation) will delay the schedule – reaffirmed the minister.

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