Colombia – Infrastructure & Transportation 2019

Megaprojects in Colombia's Transportation Infrastructure

Published: 27 January 2019

Government estimates investments of US$ 37 billion until 2024

The most important players in Colombia’s infrastructure sector met late November 2018 for the annual congress “Congreso Nacional de Infraestructura” in Cartagena. In the presence of President Iván Duque, experts provided information on the current status of the largest infrastructure projects. According to Clemente del Valle, President of the National Development Bank FDN (Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional), Colombia will have to spend around US$ 36.6 billion over the coming six years to implement planned infrastructure projects. The investments are divided between highways and roads (US$24.3 billion), public transport (US$ 8 billion) and airports, ports and inland waterways (US$ 4.3 billion).

Highway program is stagnating

Colombia is currently expanding massively it’s still patchy highway network. The “Fourth Generation (4G)” program with investments of around US$ 17 billion is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Latin America. All 30 subsections have already been awarded to construction consortia, but construction is progressing only slowly. Louis Kleyn, President of the National Infrastructure Agency ANI (Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura), said at the congress: “16 highways are still not financed and only six projects are on schedule, i.e. at least 35% of them have been completed.” According to Kleyn, the goal for 2019 is to adjust the timetable for 13 highway projects of the 4G program.


Colombia: Selected infrastructure projects

Project Investment (in US$ million) Status Comment/Contact
Fourth generation of highway concessions (4G) 16,700 Sub-projects awarded as PPPs; financing not yet completed 30 routes with a total length of 7,000 km; National Infrastructure Agency ANI
Metroline 1 Bogotá 4,400 Pre-tender open until beginning of 2019, start of construction end of 2019 and commissioning planned for 2024 24 km with 16 stations, mainly above ground; Metro de Bogotá S.A.
Three new lines of the BRT-system Transmilenio (Bogotá) approx. 1,500 Routes to be awarded in 2019 and commissioned in 2022 Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano and Transmilenio S.A.
Second international airport in Bogotá (El Dorado II) 1,200 To be awarded as PPP, time frame not yet fixed West of the city in municipalities Madrid and Facatativá on 1,980 hectares; National Infrastructure Agency ANI
Reactivation of the Antioquia train network (Botero – Puerto Berrío line) 910 Financial structuring to be agreed on in 2019 80 km; 2 further lines planned; Promotora Ferrocarril de Antioquia
Light rail RegioTram (Bogotá – Facatativá) 787 Project awarding planned for mid-2019 and commissioning for 2023; government financing confirmed 45 km; 210,000 passengers daily; National Infrastructure Agency ANI and federal state of Cundinamarca
Port of Antioquia (Gulf of Urabá on the Caribbean coast) 650 Financing to be arranged soon; start of construction 2019 and commissioning 2022 planned Capacity 10,000 TEU; Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Antioquia
New airport Cartagena de Indias 600 Feasibility studies; begin of construction planned for 2020 Odinsa and Conecta Caribe

Source: press reports


Big plans for Bogotá in the public transport sector

The picture looks rosier for Colombia’s second megaproject, the construction of a metro line in Bogotá. The pre-qualification process is open until end of January 2019, when the list of pre-qualified companies will be published. According to press reports, 130 companies, including numerous Chinese and Spanish construction firms, have shown interest in the project. The contract, which covers the construction, provision of rolling stock, operation and maintenance of the metro in one single contract, is to be awarded before end of 2019. Among others, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged US$ 480 million to finance the project.

The RegioTram light rail system is also being planned in Bogotá. According to the administration of the state of Cundinamarca, the tender documents should be ready by mid-2019 and the project awarded by October 2019. The technical and legal studies are currently being prepared by the Egis/Deloitte/Durán & Osorio/Sumatoria consortium. The light rail system will connect the center of Bogotá with the town of Facatativá west of the capital. In the medium term, light rail vehicles are also to be built in Medellín (Avenida 80; US$ 1 billion) and Barranquilla (airport connection; US$ 562 million).

In addition to the first metro line and the light rail system, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system Transmilenio will be expanded in Bogotá. The tender for the new Carrera Séptima bus corridor (19 kilometers) is already underway. The next two corridors will lead to the planned metro line: Avenida Ciudad de Cali (24 kilometers) and Avenida 68 (17 kilometers). All three bus corridors are to be commissioned before election of the new mayor in October 2019.


Colombia: Largest civil engineering and construction materials companies (sales 2017 in US$ million)

Sales City Website
Civil engineering
.Constructora Conconcreto 378.2 Itagüí

.Construcciones El Cóndor 204.5 Medellín
.Mincivil 185.0 Bogotá
.Camargo Correa 166.0 Medellín
.Conalvías Construcciones 142.3 Cali
Construction materials
.Sodimac 1,157.4 Bogotá
.G&J Ferretería 265.7 Bogotá
.3M Colombia 119.4 Bogotá
.Sika Colombia 114.3 Tocancipá
.Sumicol 99.0 Sabaneta

Note: calculated with average exchange rate for 2017 (1 US$ = 2,951 COP)

Source: La Nota Económica – Vademécum de Mercados 2018


International construction companies are getting involved

Colombian construction market is highly fragmented. Especially in civil engineering, sales are relatively equally distributed among the leading companies. According to market report La Nota Económica, a total of twelve civil engineering companies had a turnover of US$ 100 million or more in 2017. Foreign construction companies are also heavily involved in the current major projects, as Colombia can make good use of their expertise, especially for complex construction projects. Among others, Sacyr, Grupo Ortiz, Iridium (all Spain), Vinci (France), OHL (Chile), MECO (Costa Rica), Shikun Binui (Israel), Strabag (Austria) and Mota Engil (Portugal) are involved in the 4G highway program, mainly in consortia with local construction companies.



Website Comment
ANI National Infrastructure Agency
Ministerio de Transporte Ministry of Transport
Sistema Electrónico de Contratación Pública Internet portal for public tenders
Cámara Colombiana de la Infraestructura Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure
Expocamacol Trade fair for the construction sector; next date: 26 to 29 August 2020 in Medellín
Directorio de la Construcción Directory of suppliers, construction companies, consulting firms