Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies to contribute equipment and expertise

As of Oct. 19, 2016, Chile and Argentina have opened the pre-qualifying process for the construction of the 14-kilometer Agua Negra binational tunnel. The tunnel construction is considered one of the largest binational integration projects in South America, with an estimated investment of $1.6 billion. This project will connect Argentina’s San Juan province and Chile’s Coquimbo region as a component of the Porto Alegre-Coquimbo bioceanic corridor that seeks greater regional integration among Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The completion of the tunnel will link the port of Coquimbo, Chile, to the port of Porto Alegre, Brazil.

This joint government initiative aims to improve the connectivity between Chile and Argentina, increasing the transport of cargo and people and boosting economic development and tourism in the region. The binational commission EBITAN (Entidad Binacional Túnel Agua Negra) is overseeing the project.

Companies will need to register in the pre-qualification stage by February 2017, and EBITAN will then evaluate the applications to determine which companies can participate in the bidding process. Qualified companies will need to submit their bids by May 2017. Winners of the tender are expected to be announced by early 2018, with work commencing in early 2019.

This project presents a strong opportunity for Wisconsin businesses. Works to be undertaken include engineering studies, land purchases and tunnel construction. Wisconsin companies can contribute construction equipment and supplies. Given the technical complexity of the project as well as the challenges presented by the extreme worksite conditions, it is expected that the tender will be awarded to a consortium of companies to bring together expertise.

Additional information about the Agua Negra binational tunnel, including how to register in the prequalification stage, can be found here.

More information can be found here.