Colombian govt backing US$15.6bn 'post-4G' transport plan

Monday, November 28, 2016

Colombia has announced that the country's "infrastructure revolution" will not end with the 5,803km of 4G concession highways under construction, where both the national government and the private sector have invested 39.6tn pesos (US$12.5bn).

Nor will it end with the 58 projects that the national highway institute Invías is developing for 6tn pesos, with funds provided entirely by the state, or with the massive modernization works being pushed by national infrastructure agency ANI in rail lines, some 20 ports and 54 airports.

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The Colombian government has another ambitious bet to be executed in less than 10 years until 2025, with the second phase of the intermodal transport plan (PMTI 2), reported local daily El Tiempo.

The PMTI 2 is a new infrastructure program which President Juan Manuel Santos called "post-4G", last week during the Colombian infrastructure chamber's (CCI) XIII national congress in Cartagena.

Colombia's vice president Germán Vargas Lleras added that this second phase of the plan is aimed at complementing the first phase of the transport infrastructure plan PMTI, which was set out with a 20-year vision (2015-2035) when it was presented in November 2015. The plan is described in detail in the BNamericas Intelligent Series report Colombia Strengthens PPPs to Boost Transport Infrastructure.

Just as the first PMTI involved 153 projects and cost 208tn pesos, phase two will also require large investments, prioritizing 65 projects and involving investments totaling 49.4tn pesos.

Though the focus, in terms of financing, for the national government, the CCI and the sector in general remains on the 33 4G projects that are currently under development, ANI president Luis Fernando Andrade highlighted that half of the post-4G projects are self-sustainable and would not need to look further for funding.

Such self-sustainable projects include the El Dorado II airport, Ciénaga-Barranquilla highways and the Guaduas-Villeta highway, according to the newspaper El Tiempo. Nevertheless, between 19 and 26tn pesos will still be needed to develop the post-4G plan, with over 70% of money going to continued modernization of the national road network and extension to regions where there is a lack of good roads, such as in the east of the country.