The Inter-American Development Bank has made its initial disbursement of a $156 million USD loan to fund a road project that will connect the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyacá, and Meta. The loan, which has a 22-year-term, is being distributed through the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) to Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá S.A., a company created specifically to carry out “4G” infrastructure projects by the Israel-based conglomerate Shikun & Binui and Colombia’s Colombiana Inversiones de Infraestructuras S.A.S.
The project, the Eastern Perimeter Highway, will consist of expanding and improving 154 kilometers of roads, from Sopó in the north to Caqueza in the south, as well as building eight small bridges. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, it will serve some 300,000 residents, making commute times shorter and improving the quality of their travels. It estimates that the construction will create some 1,500 jobs, plus another 250 long-term roles to work in operations once the project is complete.
Shikun & Binui has set out to be a major player in this 4G, or Fourth Generation, infrastructure overhaul currently underway in Colombia. The sum of all the works could reach into the tens of billions of dollars by the time it is all finished, which the government expects in the early 2020s. Earlier this year, after closing on the project in Cundinamarca, the company touted its credentials for being picked to do the work.
“Shikun & Binui brings its project skills and capabilities, excellence, professionalism, and decades of experience in successfully performing similar projects,” said company CEO Yaron Karisi in June.
Colombia is one of the main countries where the Inter-American Development Bank operates. Of its current projects, 24 are in Colombia. Only Brazil (70), Haiti (26), and Argentina (24) have more.