May 19, 2024

Colombian Agency OK’s US$102 Million for ‘Vias del Nus’ Highways in Antioquia

Colombia’s national finance agency (Financiera de Desarollo Nacional, FDN) announced January 25 that it approved a COP$300 billion (US$102 million) provisional credit for the under-development “Vias del Nus” highway project linking Medellin northward to the Rio Magdalena and then connecting to key Caribbean ports including Cartagena and Barranquilla.

The “Vias del Nus” project (see Medellin Herald on October 13, 2016 and February 3, 2016) – also known as “VINUS” — will be financed privately, accompanied by FDN loans from investor-partners including International Finance Corporation, Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporatión and Colombia’s Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público.

The “VINUS” project – scheduled for completion in mid-2020 — would run 157.4 kilometers and would enable freight and passenger vehicles to travel at speeds averaging 80 kilometers per hour, cutting about two hours from today’s travel times, according to FDN.

Once due-diligence and structured finance are completed, the project developers would go back to FDN for final approval, according to the agency.

The project, part of the national “Prosperity Highways” plan, will complement the “Conexion Norte” and “Autopista Rio Magdalena II” projects, according to the agency.

Besides boosting freight traffic efficiency, the project also will enable faster travel between Medellin’s northern municipalities including Hatillo, Don Matias and Caucasia, as well travel to and from the cities of Montería, Sincelejo, Cartagena and Barranquilla.
The project includes rehabilitation of 35.6 kilometers of existing two-lane highway, construction of 20.2 kilometers of four-lane, divided highaay; a bi-directional tunnel of 4.1 kilometers and a third lane section totaling 2.7 kilometers, according to FDN.

In addition, the project includes 20 new bridges, eight of which will cross the Rio Medellin, the Rio Nus or other rivers.

Project partners include Mincivil SA (51.85%), SP Ingenieros SAS (22.22%), Construcciones El Condor SA (21.11%), EDL SA (3.72%) and Latinco SA (1.11%).

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