The Bioceánico Aconcagua Consortium has presented Argentina and Chile with the draft for building a roughly 52 km long rail Base Tunnel through the Andes, devised to make rail transportation between the two countries more efficient thanks to the direct route. The Consortium is made up of the companies Corpación América (Argentina), Empresas Navieras S.A. (Chile), Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan), Geodata (Italy) and Contreras Hermanos (Argentina). Amberg Engineering, Madrid, will accompany the infrastructure project and assess the safety and cost risks with regard to the technical feasibility and the evaluation of corresponding costs as well as adhering to international safety standards during the construction phase and construction management.
The Base Tunnel is to cross the Andes chain with its varying geological conditions. Thanks to its location at low altitude ASL and operating electric train services, climate-related interruptions to services can be avoided and as a result costs reduced. The Bioceánico Aconcagua Tunnel is scheduled to become operational in 2020 and will initially carry 13 million t of goods with a capacity limit of 24 million t/a during its first operational phase. ⇥G.B.