The project is at present the largest single rail transit project ever won by a Chinese company-led consortium through international bidding, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Corp said. Credit: Handout Illustration.

A consortium of Chinese and Canadian enterprises won the US$4 billion bid for Colombia’s biggest metro project as the subway car supplier in its capital Bogota on Thursday local time, according to the Bogota government.

The bidding group has made the most economical offer for Bogota and met all the requirements of the international open bidding, according to a statement by the Bogota government.

“China’s competitiveness in construction machinery and infrastructure rates first in the world,” Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times.

The winning consortium includes companies such as China Harbor Engineering Corp and Xi’an Rail Transit Group Corp, and it is supported by the Brazilian unit of CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Corp and the Spanish subsidiary of Canadian Bombardier, as subcontractors.

The group will build, provide the equipment and trains and operate and maintain the First Line of the Bogota Metro for 20 years, said the Bogota government on Thursday.

“Infrastructure is an important area for China-Colombia cooperation. The latter has the second-largest number of infrastructure projects under construction in South America and has high potential in infrastructure development,” Liu Jianying, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times.

The project is at present the largest single rail transit project ever won by a Chinese company-led consortium through international bidding, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Corp said.

The 24-km subway line, which will link southwestern and northern part of the city, is designed with 16 stations, 10 of which are transfer stations connected to Bogota’s bus rapid transit system, Xinhua reported.

According to data from CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Corp, it has obtained orders of nearly 1,200 railcars for eight projects in South America in the past decade.

The company has exported more than 8,900 products to more than 20 countries and regions with a total value of US$12 billion.

“China has considerable experience and advantages in infrastructure technology, including road construction, tunnels, railways and subway systems. Chinese enterprises have exported more and more products and technologies involving the rail transit industry in recent years,” said Liu.

The CRRC Qingdao Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute Co., is among the companies that have exported China’s technologies in rail transportation.

“CRRC SRI has developed independently a number of core systems from high-speed trains to the urban rail field, including traction converters and anti-vibration systems, and has directly exported its systems to the high-end market in Asia, Europe and South America,” CRRC SRI told the Global Times.

“Given the global economic downturn, increasing investment in infrastructure to offset downward pressure and lay a solid foundation for the next stage of global economic recovery may become a common policy adopted by more and more countries,” said Tian.

Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa praised the consortium’s success in securing the bid of “this very important project,” given its extensive experience.

“We are undertaking this project with the Chinese. They are experts in building subways,” Penalosa said.

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