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The Bioceanico Aconcagua Tunnel – Joining the food bowls of South America to Asia

The Bioceanico Aconcagua Tunnel – Joining the food bowls of South America to Asia

The Pacific Ocean: the Epicenter of the 21st Century

As the Mediterranean was the sea of the past, and the Atlantic that of the twentieth century, the twenty-first century global economy will have its epicenter in the Pacific Basin. Globalization imposes a new framework for trade and economic relations. The world’s largest and most populous continent on Earth faces the Pacific Basin. There, 4 of the largest economies in the world are found, along with 3 of the most dynamic and intermediate economies with enormous potential for development. The strategic importance of the Pacific Basin in the world´s economy creates an urgent need for a safe and reliable access to that ocean in South America.

The breakthrough Solution

Today there is no efficient physical link today. The Andes, 7200 km long and 4400 meters high, act as a barrier. In Corporación América they believed that they could generate a quantum leap in South American integration, increasing the competitiveness of the region. They visualized a transcending solution for cargo transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific: the Bioceánico Aconcagua Corridor, which will facilitate both exchange within the Mercosur, as well as between the region and the rest of the world.

When they started this project, there was already a private initiative for rehabilitating the old Trans-Andean railway, designed in the 19th century. But this work would involve keeping the crossing of the Andes in a metric gauge railroad and, therefore, would make the crossing a closed system; that is to say, to connect the oceans it would be necessary to change trains. This initiative would have allowed carrying only about 5 million tons and would not have presented clear advantages over the road crossing in terms of interruptions caused by winter weather, which are estimated at about up to 60 days a year.

Finally, the old plan called for diesel locomotives, which compared to electric locomotives involve a greater expenditure of energy (particularly in low oxygen level altitudes) and worse performance from an environmental point of view. For all these reasons, this project did not meet the objectives sought by Corporación América.

In search of a more complete project, that would regard all the objectives of the company, they hired a consortium of international engineering consultants experienced in this type of work: Geoconsult, Geodata and Grimaux. The first, Geoconsult, had already completed a feasibility study in the 90’s for the crossing of the Central Andes with a base tunnel. The goal: a breakthrough solution for the physical link, able to work year-round, in one single gauge from the Pacific to the Atlantic, designed with the latest technology and foreseen to be in service into the 22nd Century.

There Stake

They want to create a Bioceánico Aconcagua Corridor that includes a reliable, efficient and competitive crossing in the Andes Mountain Range. To develop an integrated system of transport and logistics, effectively joining Buenos Aires with Valparaiso / San Antonio / Ventanas.

Thye know that events such as incremental transport levels and the materialization of potential demands require optimization of other elements, such as additional and supplementary infrastructure. For this reason they point out the vital need for an integrated logistics system Buenos Aires – Valparaiso / San Antonio / Ventanas. And while we have been very conservative in our financial models, our objectives are very ambitious.

They believe, also, that the Bioceánico Aconcagua Corridor will fundamentally serve to maximize transport capacity and regional competitiveness; our project provides for this growth.

www.bioceanicoaconcagua.com

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