Bolivia to construct railroad line to increase fertilizer exports

20 September 2013 21:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A new railroad line will be built in Bolivia to help facilitate shipments of ammonia and urea from the Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) Bulo Bulo fertilizer plant, the government announced on Friday.

President Evo Morales said a 92-mile (148-km) railway will be constructed in central Bolivia, linking Montero in the east to Bulo Bulo, where YPFB has started construction of an ammonia and urea plant. The railway will eventually connect with an existing line in the Santa Cruz region and expand the ability to move fertilizer products to Brazil and Argentina.

YPFB anticipates its plant will begin operations by Q3 2015 and produce 650,000 tonnes/year of urea and 400,000 tonnes/year of ammonia. Roughly 80% of the urea will be designated for the export market, with the ammonia being produced for industrial usage for products like explosives and paints.

Cost estimates for the transportation project are calculated at $250m (€185m), and the work contract has be awarded to the Spanish construction company Yapilo and two Chinese firms, CAMC and China Railway. Building of the new line will be divided into three sections, with CAMC and China Railway responsible for the railway portion, while Yapilo will be handling the necessary bridge work.

While Morales did not announce a start date for the project, he did say it is estimated that this new railroad line will be completed within two years. He said the goal of the Bolivian government is to see the Montero-Bulo Bulo line become a part of a much larger system of tracks that could connect the country’s Atlantic and Pacific ports.


By: Mark Milam



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