Government approves ExxonMobil’s $53 mn fracking test pilot

The National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) approved yesterday ExxonMobil's proposal to carry out a new fracking pilot project in Puerto Wilches (Santander). The company expects to invest $53 million, of which local communities will share 0.5% of the investment. The proposal also includes a minimum of 7% good and services provision from local suppliers.

$4.4 bn invested in Cuarta Generación infrastructure projects

Despite the effects of the current covid-19 pandemic, the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) has reactivated 49 infrastructure projects over the past year. Among these projects, 27 correspond to the government's infrastructure policy flagship Cuarta Generación (4G). For the latter, $4.4 billion (Co$ 16.969 billion) has been invested to date, creating 64,000 new direct jobs and 140,000 indirect. ANI expects seven projects to be finished by the end of this year and another ten by next year.

Colombian central bank profits fell by 94% in January 2021

Between January 2020 and January 2021, Banco de la República's net income shrunk by 94% from $512 million (Co$ 1.92 billion) to $29 million (111,698 million). The operating revenue also decreased from $536 million (Co$ 2 billion) to $70 million (Co$ 264,473 million) in the same period. With lower interest rates, even closer to zero, this trend is expected to continue this year and further, said Central Bank's governor, Leonardo Villar.

Banking sector earnings down by 34.6% in January 2021

In January 2021, the financial sector's net income in Colombia dropped by 34.6% to $141 million (Co$ 523,906 million), revealed the Financial Superintendency of Colombia (SFC). Despite the general losses, the local banks with the highest profit were Banco de Bogotá ($ 55 million), followed by Bancolombia ($19 million) and Davivienda ($8.2 million). BBVA earned the highest among foreign banks ($16 million).

Colombian cocoa production increased by 54% last February

Between February 2020 and February 2021, cocoa production increased by 54%, from 10,046 tonnes to 15,428 tonnes, revealed The National Federation of Cocoa Growers (Fedecacao). This figure consolidates a positive growth trend throughout the past decade as, for example, in 2012, Colombia produced 8,416 tonnes. The largest international buyers of Colombian cocoa are Mexico, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Argentina, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Grupo Argos’s GHG emission to be halved by 2030

By 2030 construction conglomerate Grupo Argos, including Cementos Argos, Celsia and Odinsa, will reduce by 46% its Green House Gas (GHG) emissions per $268 (Co$ 1 million) in operating revenue. Argos has already implemented innovative green products such as Green Cement, decreasing GHG by 38% and energy consumption by 30%. It also plans to add algae's Co2 into biodiesel to power its Cartagena plant partially.

Unilever opens a $43 mn plant near Cali and expects to increase production by 80,000 tonnes

After investing more than $43 million (Co$ 160,000 million), Unilever commenced operations in its new plant in the department of Valle del Cauca. The new factory is expected to increase production by 80,000 tons and exports by 135% to countries such as Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Uruguay. The company also expects to generate 370 new jobs.

Grupo Orbis profits up to $15 mn in 2020

Despite the economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic, chemical manufacturing company Grupo Orbis increased its net profits from $12.7 (Co$ 47,533 million) in 2019 to $ to 14.97 million (Co$ 55,698 million) in 2020. Its liabilities and equity decreased from $440 million (Co$ 1.6 billion) to $429 million (Co$ 1.5 billion) in the same period.