DJI 0520 2160

Ruta del Cacao, Colombia

John Laing acquired a 30 per cent stake in the Ruta del Cacao road project in Colombia in 2019. The project is at the heart of the development of North-Eastern Colombia, and involves remodelling and improving part of the existing roadway as well as designing and building a new road between Bucaramanga and Barrancabermeja. 

Colombia flag viewing v2

The acquisition marked the Group’s entry into Colombia, an OECD member state with a strong and stable PPP framework and a good pipeline of PPP projects focused on transport, a core area of John Laing expertise. Teaming up with existing partner Ferrovial, the acquisition of a stake in the project was an opportunity to de-risk our entry into a highly attractive market.

Colombia’s $15bn 4G road programme

The project is being delivered as a public-private partnership (PPP) and is part of the Colombian government’s $15 billion Fourth Generation (‘4G’) road building programme aimed at integrating and upgrading the country’s road network and creating better connectivity. Colombia has some of the poorest roads in the world, exacerbated by challenging terrain. Upgrading the national road network is a key priority to reduce transportation costs, improve economic competitiveness, better connect the interior and industrial centres to the coast and major ports, and improve road safety.

Ruta WIP viewing

The project consists of a 29-year design, build, finance, operation and maintenance contract for new roads, tunnels, viaducts, bridges and toll stations as well as upgrades to existing road segments.

Economic impact

The project is expected to boost employment and stimulate economic development by improving connectivity with Eastern Colombia, providing an important connection between the cities of Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Yondo in the Santander Department of North-Eastern Colombia.