French and Chinese companies bid to assume tram management; winner to be picked in two weeks

Jul 15, 2017 | 83 comments

Only two companies have posted bids for the $32 million contract to complete Cuenca’s troubled tram project. The city says it will select the winning bid by the end of July and that new company will assume responsibilities immediately afterward.

Tram on display in Otorongo Plaza in 2014.

According to Edison Castro, city tram coordinator, the bidders are the French consortium ACTN Tramway Cuenca and the Chinese Railway No. 9 Engineering Group Co. Ltd.

According to Cuenca municipal councilman Marco Avila, both companies are qualified. Railway No. 9 has offices in Quito and has a long record of successful work in the energy and transportation fields, he says. The French consortium, on the other hand, has strong ties to Alstom, the company that manufactured tram equipment and has overseen installation of the tramway.

“Either of these bidders has the proven capability to finish the project and to do it correctly,” says Avila. “We had hoped for more bids but are pleased with the two we received.”

Avila is part of the committee that will make a final selection by July 26.

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The winning bidder replaces a Spanish consortium that walked off the job in October 2016 in a payment dispute with the city.

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