US$470 million 4G road project in Colombia reaches financial close

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US$470 million 4G road project in Colombia reaches financial close

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APP GICA S.A. has obtained the financing necessary to achieve financial close of the Girardot-Ibagué-Cajamarca (GICA) road PPP projectAPP GICA was created by Constructora Colpatria, Mincivil, Termotécnica Coindustrial, Latinco and HB Estructuras Metálicas after they were awarded the concession contract in 2015.

The project involves the construction of a 35.1km dual carriageway between Ibagué and Cajamarca, as well as the  operation and maintenance of the existing 225.1km road between Girardot, Ibagué and Cajamarca. It is thought that the consortium will invest COP1.3 trillion (US$471.2 million).

The COP300 billion (US$108.7 million) financing package includes commitments from Davivienda and Grupo Aval. The funds will be used these for the section of the road between Combeima and the Cocora Valley in the Department of Tolima, which includes the construction of seven tunnels and 59 bridges and/or viaducts.

It is estimated that the project will cut travel time between Ibagué and Cajamarca by 50% and create approximately 3000 jobs in the construction phase.

The project is part of the Colombian government's national infrastructure development programme: the 4G (fourth generation) Toll Road Concession Programme (Cuarta Generación de Concesiones), currently the largest road infrastructure programme in Latin America. The programme consists of 40 projects that will cover 7,000km of toll roads and require an investment of around COP47 trillion (US$16.5 billion) to construct. In the last few years, 19 of the 40 have been awarded. 

The GICA project was one of the first 4G projects to reach commercial close, which it achieved in April 2015. It has followed suit with the financial close - the first project in the programme to reach this milestone was the Ruta al Mar concession in December 2017, which involves the operation of a 491km road linking the Antioquia and Bolívar departments. Since then, projects involving roads connecting Bogotá to Girardot and Villavicencio have also reached financial close.

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