2 groups vie for US$720mn Colombian highway

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two groups have submitted bids in a tender for the construction and operation of Colombia's 1.37tn-peso (US$720mn) Río Magdalena 2 highway.

One group is comprised of RM Holdings, MC Victorias Tempranas and Sacyr Concesiones. The second bidder, OHL Concesiones, includes OHL Concesiones Chile and OHL Concesiones Colombia, national infrastructure agency (ANI) head Luis Andrade said.

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Rio Magdalena 2 entails the construction and concession of a 150km highway that will be split into two stretches. The project in northeastern Antioquia department includes 74 bridges and seven tunnels. It will be awarded on October 22, with construction works expected to begin one year later.

Río Magdalena 2 will improve connectivity between Antioquia and the Caribbean coast, and is part of the wider highway construction plan dubbed 4G, which entails building 8,000km of roads.

Last week, Colombia signed five highway contracts for 5.8tn pesos, the first under the 4G plan.

The government has eased rules to allow more companies to participate in the tenders, which have attracted few bidders. Insurer AIG said several highways could be difficult to award as traffic estimates for 20-25 projects – out of a total of 40 – were overstated, and anticipated possible financial strains in tenders.

BNamericas will host its 5th South America Infrastructure Summit in Colombia on October 22-23.