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Can the Central Railway improve the country’s competitiveness?

Can the Central Railway improve the country’s competitiveness?

He Central Railway made his first trip between Centennial Town and Montevideo on Tuesday, after more than a year of delay in the inauguration of this key work for logistics and foreign trade in Uruguay. For the government it is a historical fact that contributes to improving the “competitiveness” and that it will have “a fundamental role in the development of the country.”

With the arrival of the first train in 30 years to Port of Montevideoand the first from the plant UPM 2 With 832 tons of cellulose pulp, a new stage in logistics and transportation-oriented technology was inaugurated in the country. The maiden voyage of Central Railway —which, in reality, was a test trip with half of its available capacity used— is the beginning of the end of a work long awaited by the government, and part of the mega investment agreed with the Finnish company.

The “unofficial” event, since the total inauguration will take place on April 16, when the first trip with the full load will be made – 1,656 tons distributed in a total of 26 wagons – took place at the Railway Traffic Control Centerand had the participation of ministerial authorities such as Azucena Arbeleche (MEF), Armando Castaingdebat (Defense), Pablo Abdala (Interior) and Juan José Olaizola (MTOP); In addition to the president of the National Port Administration (ANP) Juan Curbeloand authorities of the companies that participated in the work.

José Luis Falero MTOP Central Railway inauguration.jpg

The head of the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works, José Luis Falero, led the “unofficial” inauguration of the Central Railway.

The owner of the MTOP, José Luis Falerowas the one who took the floor and highlighted the economic impact that the implementation of the Central Railway, especially in terms of improving “competitiveness” in the medium term; but also beyond the use that UPM will give to the railway network – the highest quality at present and “latest generation” – since it will only use 50% of the infrastructure capacity.

“Rail transport once again plays a fundamental role, within a country development policy“said the minister at the beginning of his presentation, and highlighted “the commitment of all Uruguayans” so that the route of the Central Railway, which involved more than 1,000 expropriations, and an investment that will exceed 1.2 billion dollars, will be a reality in 2024 and part of the new landscape of the port and metropolitan area.

Falero especially pointed out the opportunities that open up for the country with the use of the railway, while the objective is that “other companies and industries of the country can use this mode of transportation in order to generate greater competitiveness in terms of freight savings.”

In that sense, he described the work as a “key milestone” that positions Uruguay “at a regional level as a place to be visualized by other countries as a way of using the railway system outside the borders, why not?, with the same destination, which is to take advantage of the excellent port that we have in Montevideo and that in “In a short time we will have it dredged to 14 meters, (which) will allow us to take an important qualitative step in the competitiveness of the region.”

“That is what it is about for a government and a country to commit to the productive sector, the industrial sector, the commercial sector and all those who in one way or another have demanded time and again from the different governments that we help make Uruguay more competitive,” considered the head of the MTOP.

Interested in the Central Railway tracks

The inauguration of Central Railway will not only improve the logistical costs associated with the production of cellulose – which will make the product, which is growing in importance in the balance of trade of the country, is even more competitive in international markets—; but can also be used by other companies interested in operating on the railway network.

This, since UPM will only use 50% of the capacity of the railway infrastructure, even when it gradually manages to reach four daily trips.

In that sense, the government is now waiting for the completion of offers and expressions of interest from operators, some of whom it is already talking to. “There are many agreements, one may possibly be closing in a few days,” Falero expressed in this regard, at a press conference, and added that “this clearly shows us that it is not the UPM train, it is the Railway that will circulate in Uruguay”.

Source: Ambito

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