INFRASTRUCTURE: The week in 10 stories

By
Friday, May 19, 2017

ARGENTINA

Local authorities of Neuquén province presented a project portfolio worth over US$1.3bn comprised of 12 projects. One of the initiatives in the list is the creation of a trans-Andean railway service to connect the province with Chile's Pacific coast. The portfolio forms part of the recently announced Plan Patagonia, which is aimed at promoting the development of the country's southern region.

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BRAZIL

An industrial sector expert from the state of Paraná told BNamericas that the state's cargo logistics and transportation services industries are expected to benefit from the record agriculture harvest that is expected this year, which is set to be 21.8% higher than last year.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of São Paulo state port authority Codesp spoke with BNamericas to confirm that a tender worth some 18.7mn reais (US$6.0mn) to carry out maintenance dredging of the berth areas of Santos port is expected to be launched by the end of May. The contract will entail dredging 324,000m3 of sediment in under six months.

COSTA RICA

National social security authority CCSS signed a 263bn-colón (US$460mn) trust fund agreement with state-owned commercial bank Banco de Costa Rica to finance the construction of 30 health facilities, one logistics center, and to house 22 of its own financial branches. The funds for the trust will come from the national health insurance system and a World Bank loan.

MEXICO

Under a cooperation agreement between the attorney general's office and Brazilian prosecutors, Marcelo Odebrecht, former CEO of disgraced Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht, provided testimony on a corruption scheme that involved bribing government officials in Mexico in exchange for public works contracts. The deposition took place on Tuesday, May 16 in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. The deadline for Brazilian authorities to provide the information disclosed by Odebrecht is June 1.

A consortium led by local company PINFRA was awarded a public-private partnership (PPP) concession contract to build and operate for 30 years the La Gloria-San Fernando section of the Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo toll highway. The project's total price tag is a little over 3bn pesos (US$160mn). The winning consortium had submitted the unsolicited proposal for the project in 2015 and was the only bidder in the tender launched by the transport ministry earlier this year.

NICARAGUA

At a meeting with French government officials, promotion agency ProNicaragua presented a list of projects open to investment, which could be developed as public-private partnerships (PPPs). Some of the initiatives on the list include the US$133mn project to relocate and upgrade Managua's international airport, the US$120 initiative to build the Costanera del Pacífico highway, and the construction of the Managua-Masaya-Granada tourist rail line.

REGIONAL

Italian-based infrastructure conglomerate Atlantia announced plans to buy out its Spanish competitor Abertis for US$17.8bn. With the purchase, the new company would operate over 14,000 km of toll highways worldwide, some 6,500km of which would be located across Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Deal is expected to close by 4Q2017.

Multilateral lenders Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a MOU to increase mutual cooperation. The agreement aims to promote knowledge exchange, policy coordination, and the co-financing of infrastructure projects in the banks' respective member countries.

BNamericas spoke with three specialists from the IDB about the recent approval of the so-called NDC Pipeline Accelerator Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ACL), which aims to support the bank's member countries in turning their sustainable development objectives and commitments into actual investment plans to fill the region's infrastructure gap. The experts shared details on the initiative and the way in which the IDB is seeking to shift the region's infrastructure investment paradigm towards more sustainability.