Odebrecht to leave majority stake in Magdalena river PPP in Colombia

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Odebrecht to leave majority stake in Magdalena river PPP in Colombia

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Odebrecht has decided to leave its 87 percent stake in Navelena consortium, which was the only bidder in the final stage of a tender process for the Magdalena River Waterway Project in Colombia. More details about the process have not been disclosed. 

This announcement comes after Marcelo Odebrecht resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. After 6 months in detention and given the developments in his court case, Marcelo Odebrecht, on 11 December, decided to formally resign from his post. This is part of a huge anti-corruption investigation, which stems from a bribery scheme at Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras. 

Colombia's Magdalena regional river corporation, Cormagdalena, awarded the project to the Navelena consortium in 2014.  The team was made up Odebrecht (87%) and Colombia's Valorcon (13%).

The consortium recently submitted a financial plan for the project but the Government considered that the plan was insufficient and it did not prove that financial close will be reached. Odebrecht expects that its decision to leave the consortium helps to find a solution to carry out the project.

The project would be developed through the public-private partnership (PPP) model one design, build, finance, operation and maintenance (DBFOM) basis. It is estimated that construction work would take about six years. The total project investment is estimated at P2500 billion (US$828.9 million).

Upon completion the river would have a depth of seven feet and could transport convoys of up to 7,200 tons (the equivalent of about 234 trucks). The river basin has a 27.3Mha surface area, equivalent to 24% of the country's continental territory.

The Magdalena waterway totals about 1,540 km. Most of its transportation activity is concentrated within a 900 km section, between Puerto Salgar in Cundinamarca department and Barranquilla port in Atlantico department. The recovery of the river commercial navigability seeks to transform the river into the principal fluvial corridor in the country.

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