Colombian concessions

25 April 2008

Colombia: Colombia's economic and social policy council, Conpes (Consejo Nacional de Política Económica y Social) has approved a package of 11 highway improvement and operation concessions, which will see US$ 18.8 billion invested.

The work will involve the upgrading of more than 5000 km of roads. This is designed to improve links between Colombia's Caribbean and Pacific ports and the interior, according to reports in local newspaper Portfolio.

A Conpes spokesman was quoted as saying Inco, the national concessions institute, will contribute COP 3.5 trillion (US$ 6.58 billion) and private investors the remaining COP 6.5 trillion (US$ 12.2 billion).

Several highways will be widened to four lanes, two in each direction. They include Girardot-Ibagué Córdoba-Sucre; Barranquilla-Cartagena; Ruta del Sol 1 Bogotá-El Cortijo-Villeta; Ruta del Sol 1-B Villeta-Honda-Mariquita-La Dorada-Puerto Salgar-San Alberto; and Ruta del Sol 2 Santa Marta-Ye de Ciénaga-Bosconia-La Loma-San Alberto. Other roads ear-marked for upgrading include Valle de Aburra-Puerto Berrío; Primavera-Sabaneta; and Villapinzón-Tunja-Tibasosa.

Inco expects to award the projects by the end of this year, so work can begin in the first quarter of 2007. Work is expected to be spread equally over two phases, from 2006 to 2010 and 2010 to 2019.

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