Colombia's national infrastructure agency (ANI) is set to launch the fourth wave of public infrastructure concessions this week with four new projects valued at 3.5tn pesos (US$1.95bn), BNamericas has learned.
The four projects to be presented are the 169km Cáqueza-La Calera highway, located in Cundinamarca department, for US$361mn; the 152km Barranquilla-Cartagena highway, at US$444mn; the 30km Mulaló-Lobo Guerrero highway for US$556mn; and the Puerto Salgar-Girardot, also for US$556mn.
These four projects are part of the so-called fourth generation of concessions consisting of 30 projects valued at US$22bn. The projects are expected to be awarded in the next 18 months.
The new wave of concessions is expected to boost transport-related infrastructure investments to 3% of the country's GDP by 2014, as BNamericas reported previously.
In addition to highways, the new concessions include airports and port infrastructure.
"With these projects the government aims to improve the lack of investment in road infrastructure that has kept Colombia as the third worst country in the region in terms of road infrastructure systems," financial services firm Celfin/BTG Pactual said in a research note.
Celfin/BTG Pactual agrees with a similar assessment made by local brokerage Correval, which believes that the infrastructure sector is poised to see solid growth in the coming years, based partly in these new public sector investments, but also due to several new projects coming from the country's energy, oil & gas and mining industries.