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Medellin Mayor Federico Gutiérrez announced June 13, 2019 that the city’s enormously popular “Metro” public-transport network will add yet another zero-emissions aerial-tram “Metrocable” system -- helping to stem air pollution mainly caused by obsolete diesel and gasoline vehicles.

The 2.8-kilometers-long, COP$298 billion (US$99 million) “El Picacho” aerial tram is due to start-up in late 2019, he estimated.

Local residents had to abandon nearly 400 homes to make way for construction of the new route.

The “Picacho” line would serve about 160,000 people living in the working-class Northwest neighborhoods of Castilla and Doce de Octubre.

That line will join Metro’s existing electric-powered Metro rail system, an expanding electric-powered “Tranvia” road-tram network, the “Encycla” bicycle system, and the low-emissions, natural-gas-fueled “Metroplus” bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, which are gradually being replaced by 100% pure electric buses.

Medellin gets virtually all its electric power from zero-emissions hydroelectric dams, with Medellin-based power utility EPM expanding capacity with the 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydropower plant partially starting-up in late 2021.

Exito, EPM Team-up on EV Recharging

Meanwhile, Medellin-based multinational supermarket giant Exito has gradually expanded a network of public electric vehicle (EV) recharging stations in Medellin – initially at the Éxito Poblado supermarket and at the “Viva” mall in the Laureles neighborhood.

While only a handful of EVs exist in Medellin to-date, local car manufacturer Renault (and its joint-venture partner Nissan) is one of the world’s leading makers of mass-market EVs -- mainly in Europe, so far. Renault initially launched sales of its “Twizy” mini-EV here and then in 2018 debuted the "Zoe" EV four-passenger sedan. BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi and BYD also are marketing pure EVs here.

 


New rules adopted by the Colombian government allow long-time foreign nationals with existing, valid permanent residency status in Colombia to avoid the once-every-five-years trip to Bogota to renew the visa that’s already stamped inside your non-Colombian, foreign passport.

However, already-permanent, long-time legal residents here (editor's note: I've been living here continuously for 14 years) still need to renew their “cedula de extranjeria” every five years, according to Migracion Colombia, the official Colombian government migratory agency.

Even despite elimination of the former requirement to renew your visa every five years, you still might find it useful to have that existing Colombia visa stamp transferred at Migracion Colombia offices in Bogota from your expired, non-Colombian passport to your new, non-Colombian passport. Several agencies here in Medellin can do that for you, enabling you to avoid that personal trip to Migracion Colombia in Bogota.

On the other hand, personal reports from some expats here indicate that the old Colombia visa stamp  in your old passport (example: the old, expired USA passport that now has two holes drilled through it) has sometimes been accepted by Colombian immigration authorities whenever re-entering Colombia from a foreign trip. But to eliminate any doubts or worries, you might as well have your existing Colombian visa stamp transferred to your new, non-Colombian passport, whenever you have to renew that foreign passport.

As for your “cedula de extranjeria,” this document can be renewed at the Migracion Colombia agency office (formerly "DAS") in the Belen neighborhood of Medellin, every five years.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s foreign ministry announced that other changes to visa regulations took effect in November 2017.

In that announcement (see complete text in Spanish here: http://legal.legis.com.co/document?obra=legcol&document=legcol_74fa455ce7e44df19296af36ef78d8e8), the Ministry clarified that it’s regrouping many different types of current visas into three main categories: visitor (V), migrant (M) and resident (R).

Many of the changes are superficial (changes of words or categories, but not meaning), but some clarifications are worth noting.

For example: “Visitors” for tourism, for investigating business opportunities, for contract negotiations and for sales representations are allowed stays of up-to-180 days, but such visitors cannot do local contract work.

However, “visitors” attending trade shows, sporting events, artistic events, doing film productions, executing journalism assignments, occupying temporary corporate assignments (for a non-Colombia-headquartered company) and performing certain volunteer projects are allowed to “work” at those assignments or events, according to the Ministry.

“Migrants” (those intending to become residents) who are married to a Colombian national -- or parents of a Colombian-born adopted child -- likewise can “work” in Colombia for up-to-three-years, and also can apply to become a “resident” after two years.

In addition, “migrants” that obtain a local work contract or become a partner in a commercial enterprise here can obtain a “resident” visa after five years.

For real-estate investors, “migrant” visas can be obtained by investing at least 350 minimum Colombian monthly salaries. The current Colombian minimum monthly salary -- COP$738,000 – multiplied by 350 equals COP$258 million, or about US$88,000 at current COP/USD exchange rates and current Colombian legal salary minimums.

To obtain the visa, the real-estate investment must be accompanied by proof of free title (“certificado de libertad y tradicion del inmueble adquirido que pruebe titularidad”) as well as proof of registry of the foreign funds used for the purchase (“communicacion expedida por el Departamento de Cambios Internacionales del Banco de la Republica”).

For those seeking a “migrant” visa as a retiree, the applicant must show that a pension (such as Social Security or a private-sector pension) is at least three times the Colombian minimum monthly salary (COP$2,214,000 or about US$753). Alternatively, an applicant could get a “migrant” visa if receiving at least 10 times the minimum monthly salary (COP$7,380,000) if this income is from investments with regular payouts (such as annuities).

For “empresarios” seeking a “migrant” visa, the applicant must show a capital investment of at least 100 minimum monthly salaries (COP$73.8 million or about US$25,000). For “independent” professionals, a “migrant” visa can be obtained with bank records indicating earnings of at least 10 minimum monthly salaries over the prior six months.

Real-estate investors, commercial partners, contracted workers and pensioners with “migrant” visas can apply for “resident” visas after five years.

In addition, registered foreign direct investors (FDIs) investing at least 650 minimum monthly salaries (COP$480 million, or about US$163,000) can apply for a “resident” visa.

Foreigners married to Colombian nationals also will continue to qualify for “resident” visas, as in prior visa regulations. “Resident” visas are good for five years and are renewable.

First-time (and some renewal) visa applications are now processed on-line through the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores web-site (see: http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/tramites_servicios/visas).

Most expats in Colombia make a personal trip to Ministry offices in Bogota to obtain their visa, although some specialist agencies and lawyers here in Medellin offer to handle that process for you.


The “Corvipacifico” construction consortium and highway authorities announced May 29, 2019 that a huge landslide near Sinifaná wrecked a 300-meters-long section of the under-construction “Pacifico 1” highway as well a nearby, 300-meters-long section of the existing highway between the southern Medellin suburb of Caldas and the town of Bolombolo alongside the Cauca River.

Officials estimate that the resulting road closures will take many more months to fix, forcing traffic to take longer, alternative routes likely through much of 2020.

The bad news overshadows earlier news from September 2018 that construction works had restarted on the long-delayed “Pacifico 1” highway between Medellin and Bolombolo.

That highway will connect via a new bridge across the Cauca River with the under-construction “Pacifico 2” highway linking Bolombolo to Primavera and then to “Pacifico 3” highway all the way to the main Pacific freight port of Buenaventura.

To facilitate construction on “Pacifico 1,” Corvipacifico had been closing the existing highway between Puerto Escondido and Bolombolo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

According to Corfipacifico, construction also had begun on the two big tunnels for Pacifico 1 project, at Amagá (3.6- kilometers length) and Sinifaná (1.3-kilometers).

“These two tunnels that will cross the imposing and rugged geography of Antioquia will be added to the new generation of tunnels throughout Colombia,” according to the group.

The Sinifaná tunnel is three kilometers from the town center of Bolombolo, and the Amagá tunnel is located in the municipality of Amagá, a long-time center of artisanal coal extraction.

“The tunnels respectively will be equipped with all the technological equipment for their operation and control with the best safety specifications [including] a ventilation system, lighting, communications, variable signaling and fire protection,” according to the group.

“Following the excavation activities that began recently, we foresee completion in September 2019 in the case of the Sinifaná tunnel, and in September 2021 we foresee completion of the Amagá tunnel,” according to the group.

The COP$3.58 trillion (US$1.2 billion) “Pacifico 1” project reached financial close two years ago, but construction work has been extremely slow.

“Pacifico 1” will total 50.2 kilometers in length, including the two tunnels, 54 new bridges and three new intersections.


AeroMexico and Interjet – both based in Mexico City – simultaneously announced May 9, 2019 the expansion of nonstop flights between Medellin and Mexico, with onward connections.

AeroMexico has been offering twice-weekly nonstop service to/from Medellin and Cancun since last November 17 -- and just decided to continue those flights beyond its earlier, original plan to end that seasonal service in April.

Meanwhile, Interjet announced the launch of daily flights to/from Medellin and Mexico City and Cancun as of June 5.

The new Medellin service “will operate using Airbus A320 aircraft seating 150 passengers,” according to Interjet.

“Round trip-promotional fares between the U.S., Canada and Medellin, will start as low as US$350, taxes included. These special fares with be available for purchase until June 30, 2019 and valid for travel from June 5, 2019 through November 30, 2019,” according to Interjet.

“South America is a growing and significant market for both business and leisure travel,” added Interjet chief commercial officer Julio Gamero.

“With our expanded service, passengers to and from these destinations can now have convenient connections in Mexico City to New York City, Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth in the U.S., along with easy connections to Toronto and Montreal in Canada,” Gamero said.


Canada-based medical-marijuana developer PharmaCielo – whose research and operating-group headquarters are in Rionegro, Antioquia – announced April 18, 2019 a full-year 2018 net loss of US$24.4 million, worse than the US$7.6 million net loss in 2017.

“This net loss was primarily due to share-based payments of US$14.4 million,” according to the company.

“These share-based expenses were incurred primarily for options granted to employees and directors who had worked for and developed the company over the years.

“Other expenses were principally due to operating expenses to continue the construction of the research technology and processing center, and to grow and harvest the plants. Additionally, operating expenses were incurred in Canada for legal, travel and other fees incurred in order to facilitate the capital raise to complete the plan of arrangement,” according to PharmaCielo.

Meanwhile, a processing facility in Colombia “is on track for commercial operation and GMP [good manufacturing practices] certification during third quarter 2019, enabling large-scale production and sale of refined cannabis oil,” according to the company.

“Currently, 10 hectares [of marijuana] are under active cultivation, expanding to 20 hectares (around 2.15 million square feet) by year-end 2019, backed by 20 proprietary registered strains and 186 strains in the company’s germplasm bank,” according to the company..

“We are expanding our cultivation and processing operations to begin commercial sales of refined cannabis oil in 2019, having already received more inbound requests for product than we are able to fulfill in the near term,” added PharmaCielo CEO David Attard.

“We are ready to sell, with sales licensing and ISO 9001 certification in place and an initial 20 proprietary strains registered for commercial production. We anticipate the completion of our first major processing expansion in second-quarter and our GMP certification in third quarter.”

Last month, PharmaCielo announced that its Colombian subsidiary had received approval from the national cultivar registry for the listing of 10 proprietary cannabis strains.

“This brings the number of approved strains held by PharmaCielo to 20, following the company’s February 6, 2019 announcement of the approval of an initial 10 strains. PharmaCielo is the largest holder of approved strains in Colombia,” according to the company.

Hundreds of Pending Solicitations in Colombia

Meanwhile, according to a related April 18 report from business newspaper La Republica, Colombia’s Health Ministry and its Justice Ministry so far have processed 450 national applications to investigate, produce and/or export various types of medical marijuana extracts.

Research on the true utility, safety, efficacy and applicability of various extracts of marijuana for various medical problems is still at a relatively primitive stage, the report cautioned.

While Colombia currently enjoys 44% of the global medical-marijuana export allotments controlled and overseen by the United Nations, in actuality this allotment currently only totals the equivalent of about four-to-five hectares of marijuana production, the report noted, quoting PharmaCielo-Colombia president Federico Cock-Correa.

For profitable export marketing, more important than the total amounts currently allowed are the types and specific qualities of cannabis extracts produced, he added.


Pacifico 2 La Pintada update April 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:48 Written by

‘Pacifico 2,’ ‘Transversal de Las Americas’ Nearing Completion; Medellin Connections Improve

Colombia’s national infrastructure agency (Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura, ANI) announced April 10, 2019 the completion of a 14-kilometers-long, four-lane divided highway stretch between La Pintada and Puente Iglesias -- part of the 96-kilometers-long “Pacifico 2” upgrades linking Medellin southwestward toward the Pacific.

The latest completions also include a new, two-lane bypass around La Pintada (enabling travelers heading to or from Bolombolo to avoid the knotted city center) and 15 new bridges along the route, according to ANI.

The upgrades also will ease travels from La Pintada to Támesis, Valparaíso, Jericó, Fredonia, Venecia and Puente Iglesias, ANI noted.

Thanks to the latest upgrades, “Pacífico 2 highway has now completed two of five functional units and has achieved a total progress of 65%, which is 9% ahead of schedule,” according to ANI.

The entire “Pacífico 2” project – estimated for completion around mid-2020 -- is budgeted at COP$1.6 trillion (US$ million) including 42.5 kilometers of new roads, 2.5-kilometers of tunnel-ways (including the pioneering Tunel de Mulatos), 54 kilometers of rehabilitated roads and 43 bridges, the agency noted.

Transversal de las Américas (TdA) Update

On a related front, ANI announced April 8 that the 850-kilometers-long Transversal de las Américas (TdA) highway is now 97% complete, boosting freight-traffic efficiency between Antioquia and northern Atlantic ports.

“Among the works that will be ready this year are the new bridge over the Cimitarra River, which has an approximate length of 230 meters, as well as 30 kilometers of new road in the Cantagallo-San Pablo sector (Bolívar) and the completion of a second road in the Montería-El Quince sector (Córdoba),” according to ANI.

“With the transversal, the quality of life of the inhabitants of the regions of Magdalena, Antioquia, Córdoba, Bolívar, Sucre and Cesar improves,” the agency added.

Connecting roads along the transversal will improve travel to Urabá, Apartadó-Carepa and Currulao-Reposo, including a new, 26-kilometers-long road built in the sector of Turbo-Chigorodó due for completion in July, according to ANI.

The entire TdA project includes a new, connecting highway of 38.6 kilometers in length; another 138-kilometers-long stretch of new, two-lane road including two vehicular bridges over 200 meters in length; the 511-meters-long Talaigua Nuevo bridge; the new Cimitarra River bridge still under construction; and rehabilitation of existing roads along the route, according to ANI.

“In addition, it is expected that, along with projects such as the Túnel del Toyo and the Autopistas al Mar 1 (Medellín-Santa Fe de Antioquia-Cañasgordas-Santa Fe de Antioquia-Bolombolo) and Mar 2 (Cañasgordas-El Tigre- Necoclí), the Transversal de las Américas contributes to reducing travel time in the Medellín-Turbo logistics hub from seven to four hours,” according to ANI.


Emvarias – the sanitation-department subsidiary of Medellin-based utilities giant EPM – on April 3, 2019 announced that full-year 2018 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 61% year-on-year, to COP$40 billion (US$12.7 million).

However, net income fell 41% year-on-year, to COP$4.49 billion (US$1.4 million), as interest income from its investment portfolio declined.

Debt level rose 1% year-on-year, to COP$247 billion (US$79 million), while asset values rose 25%, to COP$75.7 billion (US$24 million), according to the company, which finances its investments from internal cash flow.

Operating income rose 10.9% year-on-year, to COP$227 billion (US$72 million) “thanks to the expansion of coverage in the provision of services to the municipality of Medellín, complementary services such as washing of bridges, roads and public areas, and [recycling] intervention at critical waste points,” according to Emvarias.

During the year, repeated street, park, bridge and sidewalk cleanings covered a total length of 1.5 million kilometers, partly by the work of human sweepers and the remainder by street-cleaning machines, according to Emvarias.

Foreign visitors to Medellin are often quoted in news reports and blogs as being surprised at the relative cleanliness of the city (compared to Bogota and elsewhere) -- even though the Medellin metropolitan area now totals more than 3.5 million persons.

As for garbage collection, Emvarias covered 100% of Medellin via 511 daily routes, picking-up 662,041 tons of waste in Medellín alone, according to the company.

As for the “La Pradera” landfill operation in suburban Barbosa, Emvarias grew from serving 25 municipalities prior to 2018, to 37 municipalities last year, which put a total of 1.1 million tons of waste into the landfill.

“Of those 37 municipalities, Rionegro (2.85%), Envigado (6.7%), Bello (8.95%) and Sabaneta with its transfer station (14.82%) represent 33% of the total waste entered annually in the La Pradera landfill,” according to Emvarias.

Recycling programs successfully diverted 395.4 tons of usable waste away from the landfill, as various materials went back into the productive cycle, according to the company.

Meanwhile, the La Pradera landfill continues to collect and burn waste methane, hence reducing net greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions -- since methane is far a more potent GHG than the carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting from methane combustion.

The company also is a pioneer in all Colombia in collecting and decontaminating the liquid leachate from its La Pradera landfill.

“The leachate treatment plant installed in the La Pradera sanitary landfill is the only treatment system with biological reactors and ultrafiltration system (UF) in landfills in the country,” according to Emvarias.

“This technology guarantees a high percentage of removal in parameters, such as chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), ammoniacal nitrogen and total suspended solids (SST), among others.”

During 2018, Emvarias launched construction of the second phase of the leachate treatment plant, boosting the daily biological treatment rate and enabling greater removal of organics, according to the company.

Emvarias currently has 130 garbage trucks, of which 65 employ engines burning compressed natural gas (CNG). The remainder burn regular diesel fuel.

While both types of engines produce air pollutants, the CNG engines reduce particulate matter and noise output compared to conventional diesel engines.


The 13th annual “Medellin Como Vamos?”survey (released April 11, 2019) on citizen perceptions of quality-of-life finds that aside from air pollution, certain security issues and worsening traffic mobility, Medellin residents haven’t changed their opinions very much between 2018 and 2017.

According to the survey of 1,514 households in all economic strata, “the satisfaction with Medellín as a place to live [in 2018] was stable in relation to the year 2017, with eight out of ten citizens satisfied.

“The aspects that the people of Medellín ranked as priority for their own quality of life in 2018 were health (at 74%), education (at 51%) and employment (at 51%), the latter falling four percentage points below what was achieved in 2017.”

The face-to-face survey -- taken between September 21 and November 6 -- found that 45% of Medellin households considered that their economic situation was unchanged year-on-year, while another 38% said their economic situation had improved.

As for employment, 40% of Medellín residents surveyed said that it is “not easy to find a job, compared to two out of ten who considered that it is,” according to the survey conducted by Ipsos Napoleón Franco and co-sponsored by Proantioquia, Universidad Eafit, Fundación Corona, Comfama, Comfenalco, Cámara de Comercio de Medellín and daily newspaper El Colombiano.

“In 2018, the self-perception of poverty remained stable at 18% in relation to the year 2017,” according to the report.

“By zones of the city, the central-eastern and the northeastern regions had the highest self-perception of poverty with 23% and 22%, respectively, while the lowest perception was in the southeast with 5%.

“Regarding the perceived inequality in the city during 2018 in Medellin, citizens said that the aspects where there was more unequal access were well-paid employment (50%), quality health care (44%) and quality housing (42%),” according to the report.

As for public education, “the satisfaction of citizens with the education received by children and young people between five and 17 years of age was 71%, eight percentage points lower than in 2017,” the study noted.

Seventy percent of citizens said they were satisfied with cultural offerings in the city, about the same as in 2017. “On the other hand, the satisfaction with the recreational and sports offer in the city was 77%, three percentage points above what was evidenced in 2017,” according to the survey results.

While health care remains the top issue for Medellín residents, “paradoxically, quality health care was designated as the second most unequal area in Medellín, after well-paid employment,” according to the survey.

As for perceptions about security, “during 2018, 41% of the citizens of Medellin said they felt safe in the city, a figure lower than that of 2017 by six percentage points, while 25% said they felt unsafe, five percentage points higher than what was found in 2017,” according to the survey.

“Of the perception of security in their neighborhood, during 2018, 66% of citizens said they felt safe, while 13% said they felt insecure, figures similar to those of 2017.”

As for housing and public-utilities services, “satisfaction with the neighborhood was 81% and for housing it was 82%, without significant differences in any of the cases versus 2017,” according to the survey. “With regard to public services, domestic [natural] gas was the service with the highest proportion of satisfied households, at 94%,” according to the survey.

While 55% of citizens said they were generally satisfied with environmental quality, “air quality continued to be the issue with the lowest level of satisfaction, with just one in ten citizens satisfied,” according to the survey.

As for mobility, “44% of the inhabitants of Medellín considered that their habitual journeys took longer” in 2018 versus 2017, thanks to the continuing, explosive growth of motorcycles and other vehicles causing traffic congestion here, the survey noted.


Cemex Maceo plant deal April 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:45 Written by

Cemex Colombia Partially Unblocks Stalled Maceo, Antioquia Cement Plant

Cemex Colombia revealed in an April 12, 2019 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera corporate oversight agency that it reached a deal with the national Procuraduría General (corporate/political disciplinary regulator) that would partially clear the way to start-up a US$420 million cement-manufacturing plant at Maceo, Antioquia.

The stalled plant has been tied-up in legal knots over allegations of improper land transfers to Cemex through a company allegedly involved in a fictitious auto-parts exporting and money-laundering scheme (see Medellin Herald 06/22/2018, 02/09/2018).

Last year, Colombia’s Attorney General (Fiscal General) brought criminal charges against Édgar Ramírez Martínez (former Cemex Colombia vice president of planning) and Camilo González Téllez (former Cemex Colombia vice president legal affairs) over the Maceo, Antioquia, cement-plant land-acquisition scandal.

The Attorney General also brought illegal-enrichment and money-laundering charges against Eugenio Correa Díaz, the legal representative of “C.I. Calizas SA,” which is alleged to have illegally sold land to Cemex for the Maceo plant.

The lands originally held by C.I. Calizas had been subject to another legal proceeding (“extinction de dominio”) over non-payment of Colombian taxes on allegedly phony exports of auto parts by former C.I. Calizas owner Jose Aldemar Moncada, who was assassinated two years ago.

According to the Attorney General, Ramirez, González and Correa “advanced negotiations to acquire several assets” of C.I. Calizas -- including lands that supposedly should have been in control of Colombia’s tax authorities because of the earlier tax-evasion charges against Moncada.

However, Cemex Colombia now reports that it just reached a “conciliatory agreement” with the Procuraduría General involving a “Special Assets Company” (SAE), CI Calizas y Minerales S.A. (CI Calizas), Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary Central de Mezclas S.A., “by means of which the signing of a mining operation contract, provision of manufacturing and dispatch services and leasing of real estate for cement production was endorsed.”

“This contract will allow Cemex Colombia to continue making use of the assets subject to the process of domain-extinction that include the rights derived from a mining concession and an environmental permit, including the land where the cement plant was built in the municipality of Maceo, along with and the assets of the Special Cement Zone of the Magdalena Medio SAS (ZOMAM), for a term of 21 years, extendable for an additional 10 years, provided that the extension of the mining concession is obtained,” according to Cemex Colombia.

Under the new contract, Cemex Colombia and Central de Mezclas would pay a rental lease and certain fees to CI Calizas and ZOMAN – but conditional on plant reopening.

“Cemex Colombia clarifies that the subscribed contract will continue in force regardless of the result of the process of extinction of ownership that currently falls on the assets of CI Calizas including ZOMAM, except that the competent criminal judge recognizes Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary having property rights for the assets in domain extinction, in which case the contract will be terminated in advance, given that Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary would be the owners of those assets and the contract to operate and administer them would no longer be required,” according to Cemex.

“The cement plant is expected to enter into operation when the requests and procedures that are being processed with the competent authorities are resolved in a positive manner, such as: (i) the partial removal of the cement plant from the ‘Integrated Canyon Management District’ of Rio Alicante; (ii) the modification of the environmental license that allows the production of at least 950,000 metric tons of cement per year; (iii) the modification of land use allowing industrial and mining use, and; (iv) the obtaining of the permits to complete the construction of several sections of the road to the cement plant,” according to Cemex Colombia.


Autopista Rio Magdalena delays April 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:44 Written by

Aleatica SA subsidiary Autopista Rio Magdalena (ARM) announced April 8, 2019 that it has cancelled its highway construction contract with Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (OHL) and is seeking a new contractor.

The partially completed ARM highway project aims to connect Remedios in northern Antioquia with the “Ruta del Sol” fourth-generation (4g) highway via a new bridge over the Rio Magdalena near Puerto Berrio, Antioquia.

According to ARM, OHL allegedly failed to comply with contract terms including “significant delays” in construction works, despite a COP$150 billion (US$50 million) advanced given to OHL to push forward the project.

Aleatica has notified Colombia’s infrastructure-development oversight agency Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) about the contract termination.

Meanwhile, Aleatica is working to find a new contractor in order to restart the project “as soon as possible,” according to the company.

So far, Aleatica has invested more than COP$600 billion (US$300 million) in the project, without tapping any government funds, according to the company.

The ARM project includes 155 kilometers of two-lane highway as well as a 1,360-meters-long bridge over the Rio Magdalena. The highway would boost competitiveness of Antioquia’s industries by improving access to Ruta del Sol and the Caribbean coast.

Aleatica is involved in 14 development projects covering 1,087 kilometers mainly in Latin America as well as Spain, with investments topping COP$17 billion (US$5.8 billion), according to the company, which is owned by 27 Australian pension funds and managed by IFM Investors.


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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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