Freight train at Ingeniero Maury station
of Salta–Antofagasta railway.
|Founder(s)||Government of Argentina|
|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Area served||Centre and North of Argentina|
|Production output||900 tn carried (2011) |
|Total assets||110 locomotives, 5,929 wagons |
Belgrano Cargas y Logística S.A. is an Argentine State-owned company which operates a 10,841 km (6,736 mi) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge gauge freight rail network, built by the state-owned Ferrocarril Central Norte and the French-owned Ferrocarril Provincial de Santa Fe, which became part of Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano after railway nationalization in 1948.
The network extends through the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Tucumán, Chaco, Formosa, Salta and Jujuy, operates 120 locomotives and 3,500 railway cars, and employs 1,500 workers, whose jobs are guaranteed by the government. In 2007, it transported nearly one million tons of merchandise.
As part of a national railway privatisation plan, carried out under the presidency of Carlos Menem from 1992, a 30 year concession to operate the network was granted to the union of railway workers, "Unión Ferroviaria" (51%), and Laguna Paiva (48%), an industrial cooperative, on 16 November 1999. The government retained a 1% golden share and the right to elect one director.
Nevertheless, the union was involved in suspictions about the handling of the funds received to operate the line. The union alleged that the Government did not invest enough to reactivate the line which was in critical condition when they took over. In 1998 Belgrano Cargas carried 3,287,515 tonnes a year. In 2006 it decreased to 500,000 tonnes.
During presidency of Néstor Kirchner, two tenders failed due to lack of interesed investors. Soon after, "Shima", a Chinese company associated with local entrepreneur Franco Macri presented an investment plan consisting of $ 1,400 million. This consortium finally withdrew when the Government imposed as a condition that private holdings EMEPA and Grupo Roggio (owners of railway operators Ferrovías and Metrovías respectively) should be part of the operator holding along with Unión Ferroviaria and other transport unions of Argentina.