Michel Boccaccio, the producer’s vice president in the region, indicated in an interview with BNamericas in December that he sees the markets of Brazil, Mexico and Chile as the most promising, and noted the region’s major challenges.
Giving an example of Brazil, he said that the key project is a concession-based four-line commuter rail system in the state of São Paulo. Its construction has been discussed since 2010, however recently progress has been made on a key line from São Paulo to Campinas, a major city in the northern part of the state. A tender worth $320 mln for double-deck trains is to be announced in the first half of 2023. “Taking into account this scenario, I can say that in the region in 2023, Brazil will be the most important market”, says Boccaccio. Against the backdrop of regional prospects and other orders, Alstom has significantly expanded its production capacity at the Taubaté plant.
Regarding Mexico, an Alstom spokesperson says that transportation projects are closely related to the country’s election cycles. Alstom is currently implementing a contract to supply 42 diesel trains to the Tren Maya project, yet there are no other major plans. At the same time, China’s CRRC is now actively obtaining orders in Mexico, including the one involving setting up an assembly plant in the country.
Meanwhile, according to Boccaccio, a metro line is built every six years in Chile’s capital Santiago. Prospective orders for the two new lines are four to five years away. This year, Alstom won a large contract in Chile for 37 Metropolis unmanned trains. CRRC is also increasing its presence in the local rail projects.
Boccaccio sums up that the region is characterised by a lack of public funding for transport projects. In addition, passenger traffic continues to decline amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Governments in Latin America did not help companies in the sector as governments in Europe and the US did, so the financial structure of many companies is weakened”, he says.