Social and health infrastructure sector
To invest in social and health infrastructure is a priority to achieve Colombia’s goal of overcoming poverty and achieving population well-being as set out by the government. For example, investments in schools similar to the amount invested in the Tunel de la Linea project would have a positive impact that benefits 63,400 children in 93 municipalities of 25 departments, and would also drive the construction sector’s growth. Investment projects in this sector including prisons, schools, water supply systems, and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have found a way to be funded through PPPs, since the public sector alone would have not been able to fund them.
Why invest in Colombia’s social and health infrastructure sector?
Planned mechanism for private investment in social infrastructure:
- Public-private partnerships (PPP) have been the main vehicle for social infrastructure development in Colombia since 2012 (Law 1508 of 2012). According to the World Bank’s Procuring Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships Report 2018, which measures the capabilities of 135 countries to develop projects under the PPP system, Colombia comes in third place globally, after the United Kingdom and Australia. In addition to this index, Colombia ranked second after Chile in the 2019 Infrascope, which measures the enabling environment for PPPs in Latina America and the Caribbean.
Adoption of the PPP model in Colombia for the development of social infrastructure:
- There are 291 social infrastructure initiatives registered at the Unified Registry of Public-Private Partnerships , 145 of which are undergoing pre-feasibility, feasibility and other detailed studies. Most of the projects are in Bogotá, followed by Antioquia, Santander, Bolívar, and Cundinamarca.
Colombia’s experience in hospital infrastructure projects with PPPs:
- The first medical center to be built and operated under the public-private partnership (PPP) model was awarded in 2019. This was the Bosa Hospital, which will be built by foreign firms with an investment of around USD 150 million and will be operational in 2023.
Colombia’s outlook for investment opportunities in WWTPs:
- Colombian capital cities are preparing projects in response to the environmental authorities’ requirement for adequate wastewater management. Initiatives in Bogotá, Santa Marta, Pereira, Neiva, and Bucaramanga add up to approximately USD 2.4 billion in investments through public-private partnerships, where the commercial risk is assumed by the corresponding public utility companies.
Current initiatives to invest in educational infrastructure under the PPP model:
- Colombia estimates a shortfall of 51,143 classrooms, which require an investment of approximately USD 2.5 billion. There is a plan in place to meet this need through public-private partnerships that will enable the construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance of 70 schools in eight Colombian cities.
Investment opportunities in Colombia's social and health infrastructure sector:
- Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) – Canoas
The project consists of the construction of a primary treatment and secondary disinfection facility, as part of the initiative to clean up the Bogotá River, which receives around 160,000 tons of organic waste per year, along with industrial wastewater. The first stage of the project will focus on cleaning waste discharged from the Capital District, followed by treatment of the discharge from 41 municipalities along the Cundinamarca River basin, in the second stage. The plant will be located along the Bogotá Riverbank in the Capital District, with an estimated investment of USD 1.5 billion.
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