China plans to bid again for Mexico high-speed rail project

China plans to bid again for Mexico high-speed rail project
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (3rd L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R) attend a meeting at the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Beijing November 11, 2014.

SHANGHAI/MEXICO CITY - China plans to tender again for Mexico's US$3.75 billion high-speed rail project after the Latin American nation abruptly cancelled its earlier win, one of the firms in a Chinese-led consortium that had bid and a source close to the bid said.

Mexico revoked the contract awarded to the consortium made up of China Railway Construction Corp, CSR Corp and four other Mexican firms on Nov. 7 after opposition lawmakers claimed it was fixed. The consortium's bid was uncontested.

The Latin American nation said it would re-run the tender in late November under the same terms.

Local media also later reported that one of the Mexican firms in the consortium, Grupo Higa, owned a $7 million house that the Mexican president's wife was in the process of acquiring. Mexico's first lady said she would give up the house.

"Whether we will continue to bid with CRCC, that's a definite yes," said the official from CSR's publicity department, who only wanted to be identified by his surname Xu, on Friday.

A separate source close to the Chinese bid said CRCC was definitely going to tender again.

Xu declined to say whether the Mexican partners would remain in the consortium, but said "small adjustments made to consortiums are very normal".

CRCC did not reply to calls for comment from Reuters on Monday. The company said after the cancellation of the contract that it was "exceptionally shocked" by the decision and that it was looking at taking legal action to protect its rights.

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