SEOUL -- A public and private team in South Korea sealed an agreement to build a 43-kilometer commuter rail transport line between the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion and the neighboring town of Ypacarai that will cost some $500 million. The project is part of efforts by the Paraguayan government to rebuild its worn-out urban railway system, solve traffic congestion in Asuncion and revitalize the economy.
In a ceremony in Seoul on September 9, South Korea's Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk signed a memorandum of understanding with Arnoldo Wiens Durksen, the Paraguayan Minister of Public Work and Communication, to go ahead with a light urban rail service that will have seven stations between Asuncion and Ypacarai, along with a rail yard.
The South Korean side involves Noh's office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation (KIND), Korea National Railway and private companies. The agreement followed a feasibility study conducted by KIND from November 2020 to June 2021.
The project will be led by KIND and its Paraguayan partner, Ferrocarriles del Paraguay S.A. (FEPASA), a freight transport company. The Paraguay government has promoted the public-private partnership method to build a double-track line from the starting station to Luque and a single-track line from Luque to Ypacarai in a period of five years.
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