After 30 years of administration with a negative balance, the Ministry of Transport decided reject the extension of the railway cargo concessions on the Sarmiento, Miter and Roca lines. The service is in the hands of the companies Ferroexpreso Pampeano, Nuevo Central Argentino and Ferrosur Roca and, from 2022, they will return to state hands, in charge of Trenes Argentinos Cargas (TAC), an organization that will carry out a transition plan.
According resolution 211/2021, published this Monday in the Official Gazette, the administration of the railway infrastructure and all the assets will be in charge of Trenes Argentinos Infraestructura. The Minister of Transportation, Alexis Guerrera, defined that TAC take over the administration, but as part of a transition towards an open-use model with public-private participation.
“The rail freight concessions show, after almost 30 years, a negative balance in terms of the state of the infrastructure, speed and lost branches”, concluded the report of the Special Commission for the Renegotiation of Contracts of the Ministry of Transportation, the basis on which the Guerrera decision was made.
The commission recommended the rejection of the requests for extensions made by Ferroexpreso Pampeano, Nuevo Central Argentino and Ferrosur Roca and stressed that the experience of Trenes Argentinos Cargas reflects that the development of the national railway system and the increase of its participation in the matrix “depend on a conception and an integral administration of the network”.
Yes OK the resolution does not close participation to private parties, The commission recommended a particular role for third parties involved in the administration of the cargo network: “The role of private actors should be limited to the operation of the cargo they obtain, an issue in which their collaboration with the system is useful and healthy , in view of its expertise in commercial management “.
The resolution clarifies that the necessary deadlines established by the two state companies to implement a transition scheme are not less than 10 months, time in which the Ferroexpreso Pampeano concession expires.
For this reason, that company will be instructed to continue with the operation of rail services until June 30, 2022, under the same conditions in which it had been providing them, while the transition plan is drawn up.
The expiration dates of current concessions are: next October 31 for Ferroexpreso Pampeano; on December 21, 2022 in the case of Nuevo Central Argentino; and for Ferrosur Roca on March 10, 2023.
“The rejection of the extensions of the concession contracts implies the resumption of the administration of the national railway infrastructure and all the goods that are part of the concession contracts, once the term of each of them has expired, by de Trenes Argentinos Infraestructura, “concluded the Transportation statement.