Colombia energy sector set to grow in 2015: report

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Power usage in Colombia will expand some 50% between 2014 and 2028, adding some 30,000GWh/y to the 63,000GWh/y consumed in 2013, according to the BNamericas Outlook: Natural Gas, Renewable Power Gain Importance in 2015 report.

The report said that the reelection of President Juan Manuel Santos will benefit the Colombian power sector.

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"First, it means the government will move ahead with its plans to sell its 57.6% stake in Isagén, Colombia's third largest generator," the report said. "The finance ministry recently postponed the sale by a year to drum up more interest in the firm. The company is currently developing the 820MW Sogamoso dam, expected to wrap up this year."

"Santos' victory was seen as a referendum of sorts on the ongoing peace talks with the FARC guerrilla group. The negotiations in Havana still have much ground to cover, but they are the best chance yet of ending the decades- long conflict and reducing the number of attacks on Colombia's energy infrastructure," the report added.

The mining and energy planning unit UPME confirmed that an additional 3.1GW will be needed for 2018-27, with the government required to hold a capacity auction in 2015 or earlier. The unit awarded ISA a contract for the construction of 195km of power lines in July and a substation in the departments of Córdoba and Sucre, the report said.

It confirmed nine transmission projects, worth a combined US$2bn, would be needed to reinforce the power grid in the next five years.