Been looking everywhere for this, and eventually found it on ABC.es (after all, why would the government publish this information in an easy to find format? Duh!) The comments come from Jesús Miranda Hita, subsec of the Ministry of Development, after he came down to have a look at the state of the Ave line in Almeria (a project I expect the new PP government will drop like a hot potato).
27,8km of the AVE line between Almeria and Murcia has been contracted out and paid for, and as of this week has an average completion of 75% of the signed-for work, which is interesting. (The tunnel to Garrucha, in four different stages, which you can clearly see, together with the bridges over the different rivers and roads).
This has cost the government 435 million euros, to date, cash in hand and never mind the kickbacks.
However, this leaves 157,2 km to be contracted out… at a cost of 2,519,000,000€. That’s a lot of zeros. 2,519 million euros (2,5 billion). In old money: 419 billion, 126 million and 334 thousand pesetas (the online calculator actually gave me a floating point error trying to calculate this). Or 1,256,966,755,775.28 Zimbabwean dollars (Remember that?)
It’s worth pointing out that the plans for the remaining 12 stages are not expected to be ready until December 2012. The plans include the Lorca station and the Vera station. However -an important point- they do not include the link to the Almería station. That is a seperate subsection of the plans (number 13) which is currently being hammered out by Almeria townhall, Almería Alta Velocidad and other interested parties, but which could take years, as this is no easy way to get the damn train into the centre of Almería, and the government has hinted before that it may terminate at a super warehouse in Nijar. The townhall wants a tunnel, Renfe wants to bulldoze, other bits of the townhall want to use it to redevelop the town… blah blah blah. The first 12 plans are expected to be tendered to public offer in early 2013.
Assuming the PP can find four hundred and nineteen billion, one hundred and twenty six million, three hundred and thirty four thousand pesetas by then, of course.
The national PP came out Monday evening saying they were firmly committed to the corredor mediterraneo “throughout the regions of Catalonia, Valencia and Murcia”. Asked about Almería, the PP honcho looked baffled before quickly thinking on his feet and saying “of course”. The PP in Almería continues to be reticent on the issue, at least until the regional elections are safely past.
Meanwhile, the pork from the barrel is, I am assured by the local cement works and lorry depot, tasting delicious.