Colombia grid connection requests hit 53GW

Colombia's mines and energy ministry is analyzing grid connection requests for 758 power generation projects totalling 53GW of capacity, new data shows. Solar parks comprise 48% of the total in capacity terms, while wind accounts for 22%, thermopower 20% and hydropower 9%, according to a report by ministry planning unit UPME. Some 169 projects with combined capacity of 5GW are slated to start up this year, up from 96 projects totalling 4.3GW in 2020.

Grupo Energía Bogotá shows interest in $4 bn ISA bid

Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) has raised the prospect of acquiring a majority stake in state-controlled company Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA) as the government seeks to reduce its fiscal deficit. In a filing sent to Colombia's securities regulator, GEB confirmed local media reports that it could bid for the government's 51.4% interest. Multiutility EPM and oil company Ecopetrol are understood to be other possible buyers in a deal that could fetch more than US$4bn, according to market observers. EPM already holds an 8.8% participation in ISA.

Cocaine production in 90% of deforested land in Colombian national park

Satellite data from the University of Maryland (UMD) show the Barí National Natural Park lost 6.2% of its tree cover between 2001 and 2019, with several months of unusually high deforestation in 2020. The latest report from UNs illicit crops monitoring system (ICPM) found 1,448 hectares of coca cultivation inside Catatumbo Barí in 2019, representing 15% of the area deforested between 2001 and 2019 and a 60% jump over 2018. According to a government source, in 2020 90% of the deforested land in Catatumbo Barí has now been planted with coca crops, with the remaining 10% used as cropland for plantains and yucca, or as livestock pasture.

Colombian agricultural producers received $430 mn in support in 2020

The Ministry of Agriculture of Colombia announced that, through 12 Special Credit Lines (LEC), made available by the ministry in 2020, producers have obtained more than $ 429.9 mn billion for their productive activities. Of that total, $ 343.8 million (82% of the total) was directly delivered to small and medium producers, between January and December 18, 2020.

Orea Signs Binding LOI to Acquire Extensive Gold Assets in Colombia

Orea Mining Corp. announced the signing of a Binding Letter of Intent ("BLOI") to acquire 100% interest in 13 mining concessions in 3 separate blocks (the "Project") located in the Department of Bolivar, northern Colombia, with an existing ore processing facility, including significant plant and equipment, in Colombia. As a business unit separate from exploration activities, an ore processing plant is under construction on the Project to treat artisanal ore feed from mines within the Project and surrounding mining concessions. The plant is estimated to be 75% complete and US$3M capital expenditures are required for commissioning of the plant at a rate of 150 tonnes per day (tpd).