Cencosud and Vale do Rio Doce keep the faith in Colombia

Big regional players Vale do Rio Doce and Cencosud - of Brazil and Chile respectively - will not be suspending investment in Colombia despite the escalating row between the latter nation and its neighbours Ecuador and Venezuela.

The executive director of finance at the diversified mining giant Vale, Fabio Barbosa has said that he expects the row to be solved before it reaches true crisis proportions. The firm is considering establishing an aluminium-processing plant in Colombia or in the Middle East as confirmed by company president Roger Agnelli.

The leading executive within the holding company Cencosud, Laurence Golborne has reassured Colombia that his operation invests with a long-term mentality always. It will not be put off by this (for now merely) diplomatic row as it gets its alliance with Casino, involving the Easy format, underway locally.

Publication: SABI - Business News
Provider: South American Business Information
Date: March 12, 2008

Repsol YPF to exit Platanillo

The specialist Spanish business press has gone on record this week with the statement that Spanish oil and gas group Repsol YPF is set to sell off its stake in the Platanillo block. Repsol YPF controls a 30% share of the Colombian concession contract. The reasoning Repsol has used is that Colombia lacks the infrastructure with which to refine derivatives. Additionally, the firm is increasingly concentrating on operations within Organizacion para la Cooperacion y el Desarrollo Economico (OCDE) - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member-nations.

Publication: SABI - Business News
Provider: South American Business Information
Date: March 12, 2008


Paper: At least 6 cos interested in La Línea tender

At least six international companies have contacted officials at Colombian national road institute Invías to discuss the tender process for the construction of La Línea tunnel, local paper El Nuevo Día reported.

The companies that have expressed interest in taking part in the tender process are Italian firm Impreglio, Spanish firm OHL, Brazilian firm Andrade Gutiérrez, Argentina's Iecsa, Korean firm Taeah Construction and Chinese company Asia Tech Intl.

In February, the transport ministry and Invías relaunched the international tender process for the construction of the Cordillera Central pass, which includes the construction of the parallel II Centenario and La Línea tunnels, of 8.8km each, and the expansion of the Calarcá-Cajamarca highway by 23.7km.

The initiative was divided into five stages and bidders are requested to submit separate offers for each stage. Authorities will select the best technical and economic offers for each stage.

The official budget is set at 612bn pesos (US$322mn), but the winning company or companies will receive tax benefits through the El Vallejo plan, which reduces the cost of importing the supplies necessary to carry out works.

The project is expected to take 70 months to complete. Authorities hope to see the expanded highway and the excavation of the first tunnel ready by 2010.

The first tunnel is slated to begin operating in 2012, while the construction of the second is expected to conclude in 2013.

Publication: Business News Americas - English News
Provider: Business News Americas
Date: March 10, 2008