PPP maintains regional highway, Siepac projects after restructuring

- Thursday, June 12, 2008

PPP maintains regional highway, Siepac projects after restructuring

Two regional projects, one in road infrastructure and another in the power sector, are still active in Plan Puebla-Panamá's (PPP) portfolio after the cancellation of 95% of its projects to make its integration objective more viable, according to a document provided by PPP to BNamericas.

The restructuring of PPP entailed cancelling proposed initiatives and prioritizing the completion of projects already in progress.

A coastal shipping project presented by Panama also survived the cut, but will be considered for a second stage of the plan.

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Selected projects in other sectors include administrative upgrades at borders, epidemiological monitoring and biofuels.

ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE

In road infrastructure, PPP decided to go ahead with a project to reduce cargo transport times from the main production centers in Central America to primary distribution centers in the US. The initiative aims to reduce times from 11 days to six days by 2010.

The project involves modernizing 12,604km of highways in Central America, divided into 16 highway corridors and roads throughout the region.

Coordinated by PPP, each country will modernize its own roads and connect them with main highways in neighboring nations.

Combined investment for this project totals US$6.4bn. Of this amount, US$1.78bn will go to concessions to build 1,469km of new roads.

The budget also includes US$1.44bn, yet to be obtained, to build 1,797km of new roads.

ENERGY INTEGRATION

In the power sector, PPP has decided to maintain the US$337mn Siepac line, aimed at setting the price of electricity at US$0.05kW/h as the national average in all Central American countries by 2010.

Siepac will connect with the Panama-Colombia grid, the US$55.8mn Guatemala-Mexico grid and the Guatemala-Belize grid.

In addition, it will connect with the US$60mn AMI fiber optic cable in Honduras.

PLAN PUEBLA-PANAMÁ

PPP is an international initiative designed to accelerate integration and boost sustainable development in southern Mexico and Central America.

Member countries include Colombia, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The initiative also includes Mexico's nine southern and southeastern states, which border Guatemala and Belize.

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