Foreign and domestic companies broke investment records and fueled growth by pouring millions of dollars into Colombia’s petroleum, mining, and energy industries, reported Portafolio on Sunday.
Most recently, mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd., Anglo American Plc. and Xstrata Plc. announced a $1.3 billion investment to expand production at the Cerrejon, the world’s largest open-pit coal mine for exports, to 40 million tons a year by 2015.
According to Colombia’s minister of mining and energy the increased investment in Cerrejon will generate 5,000 new jobs.
Portafolio also reported that in July, Colombia broke records for foreign investment in petroleum.
Between January and July, foreign investment in petroleum and mining reached 7.3 billion dollars, representing 85% of all direct foreign investment in Colombia, according to Colombia’s Minister of Commerce Sergio Diaz-Granados. The investment was a 2.3 billion dollar increase from the first half of 2010.
Ecopetrol’s investment in the first half of the year totaled 3.4 billion dollars. The president of the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP) said the record investment in petroleum this year confirms the value of the industry in assuring continued economic growth in Colombia.
Compared to the 1990’s when Colombia averaged investment of 500 million dollars yearly in petroleum, the industry now boasts an annual investment of 4.6 billion dollars.
The energy industry also continues to boom, with Interconexion Electrica SA (ISA) investing $41 million in their expansion in Colombia alone. Public Businesses of Medellin have also invested in hydroelectricity, project modernizations, and expanding access to electricity in rural Antioquia.