A rundown of Chile's 2015 infra budget

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Rural roads, metro lines, water reservoirs, airports, and a push for concessions are the focus of Chile's 2015 public works ministry (MOP) budget.

MOP will have a record 2.15tn pesos (US$3.6bn) to invest in 2015 – 11.8% higher than this year – as the government aims to stimulate a weakening economy.

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Plans include paving 1,000km of rural roads in a country where only 23% of roads are paved – compared with 32.2% in neighboring Argentina, 37.8% in Mexico and 41.8% in Panama.

The budget also includes 208bn pesos to finance the construction of Santiago's No. 3 and 6 metro lines, scheduled to start operating in 2018 and 2016, respectively.

MOP will also begin disbursements for the construction of the 360bn-peso Chacao bridge in southern Los Lagos region (X) and 10bn pesos to repair roads in northern Iquique, which was hit by an earthquake earlier this year.

Another focus of the program will be airports. The government will use US$633mn to expand Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez, as well as terminals in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and Iquique.

The MOP budget will expand water coverage to 100,000 residents in rural areas, and start feasibility studies for the construction of 15 reservoirs.

MOP has launched a plan to develop infrastructure projects worth US$28bn through 2021, in an effort to increase investment in the sector to 3.5% of GDP from the current 2.5%.

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