The consortia led by the French Alstom and the Spanish CAF were the only ones to present proposals and did so for less than the 40,000 million pesos budgeted by Fonatur; China’s CRRC abstained from submitting an offer arguing uneven ground in the contest rules.
With the surprise accusation by the Chinese company CRRC Mexico of not having a level playing field, the tender to buy rolling stock (43 trains) and install rail systems for the Mayan Train is complicated by the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur), which the Friday it received technical and economic proposals from a pair of consortiums, one led by Alstom (which made an offer of 36,563.7 million pesos) and the other by CAF (of 37,453.8 million pesos).
In both cases, they were below the budget of the agency, which is around 40,000 million pesos. If there is no change in the next three weeks, the ruling will be announced on May 26 next and the trains will be manufactured in Mexico, where the two groups have factories installed.
Among the firms interested in the international bidding process were CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC). In addition to the dual rolling stock (diesel-electric), it is necessary to carry out some construction work related to the Mayan Train.
Their absence in the proposal delivery minutes was notorious, because they showed interest since before the call was published, like the Swiss Stadler, and actively participated in the clarification meetings.
Neither of them recorded a letter of apology for not participating, as did the companies that chose not to deliver documents in the bids for the Mexico-Toluca train rolling stock and the Mexico-Querétaro train turnkey project.
However, this Sunday the CRRC advisory team in Mexico, which does not have a factory in the country, released information that explained its absence, including a letter sent on April 26, 2021 (one month after the last adjustments to the call) to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to express some comments regarding the tender that was underway.
“In this process we would like to ask you not to restrict participation to companies from different countries and that the tender allows competition under the same evaluation and qualification conditions for competitors,” wrote the president of the Chinese subsidiary, Gao Feng.
The letter makes clear its interest in supplying rolling stock in 19 months and not in the 24 requested by Fonatur, since the CRRC Group is “the largest company” in the design and manufacture of rolling stock, with high-speed trains. speed, diesel-electric locomotives, Metro-type trains or passenger or freight wagons. His letter was not answered and because the technical points that limited the Chinese company did not change, he decided not to submit proposals last Friday.
The participating consortia
To compete with the Spanish CAF, Alstom joined forces with Bombardier (it recently bought the railway business) and the Mexican construction company GAMI and Construcciones Urales, a subsidiary of the Spanish Grupo Azvi (both participate in the consortium that builds section 3 of the Maya Train, from Calkiní, Campeche, to Izamal, Yucatán).
Meanwhile, CAF (which produced rolling stock for the Mexico-Toluca train) made an alliance with the Rubau México construction company, of Spanish origin.
The third consortium that chose not to participate was formed by CRRC Thales, Grupo Cocomex, and ADM, according to the information shared yesterday, May 9.
“CRRC, in trains, is the largest manufacturer in the world and the winner to supply rolling stock to line 1 of the CDMX metro. In addition, they supply the Metrorrey and the Tijuana Tecate Train. Thales, a French company, is one of the three largest in the world in terms of rail systems and safety. COCOMEX, 100 percent Mexican with great railway projections in Mexico and America. ADM, a leading international construction company with experience in conventional and renewable energy projects ”, it was detailed.
In two points of Annex 3 of the international tender by Fonatur (integration of the technical proposal) the disagreement of CRRC México is based, which forced them not to participate. The Chinese company was left out for not having completed projects in Mexico with local suppliers. Here are the points made by the Chinese firm:
• Clause 6.4 BIS: Manufacture and supply of rolling stock, where said manufacture or assembly has been carried out in Mexico, the United States of America or in Canada.
• Clause 7.1 BIS: Manufacture and supply of rolling stock, the bidder must present at least one contract stating full compliance with the obligations associated with the manufacture and supply of rolling stock and that the final destination was Mexico, the United States or Canada.