Paving roads for better productivity and integration in Colombia

The process of signing the Framework Agreement to improve the road connecting Alto Neblinas with the district of Rubiales is well underway: the first stage covers 93 kilometers.

Tecpetrol’s long-standing commitment to the regions where it operates means that it plays an active role in projects that drive growth in local communities. In Puerto Gaitán, work has been underway to coordinate efforts between the state-owned company Ecopetrol, the Meta municipality, Puerto Gaitán’s Mayor's Office, Tecpetrol and other operators in the area, as well as the Colombian Petroleum Association, enabling community-oriented agreements to be struck that includes paving the road to the south of the municipality.

Catalina Echeverri, Tecpetrol’s Community Relations (CORE) Manager, explains that “Puerto Gaitán is a large area which a few years back began consolidating itself as an agribusiness hub, producing rubber, soybean, sorghum and corn, among others. It’s also one of the largest hydrocarbons-producing municipalities, and its economic potential means there have always been many requests from the local communities for definitive solutions. In the light of these demands, an initial commitment has been signed in the form of a framework agreement to offer a coordinated and articulated response supported by both operators and institutions.”

Paving the road is high on the list of services that will benefit the citizens living in the southern part of the municipality, helping to improve their access to healthcare and making public transportation to Vereda Puerto Triunfo and Rubiales a less risky affair. It will also provide local producers with better access to the markets, expanding their prospects. “Another positive impact is that this improved road has the potential to foster economic diversification by offering better articulation with the agrarian cluster in the Meta Department, creating the right conditions for new agro-industrial projects and increasing livestock production. In short, the new road will enable growth and prosperity for various aspects of this area that are underdeveloped due to limited trafficability.”

The road to growthPuerto Gaitán, Colombia.

Far-reaching changes in the conditions of an entire region. José Feretti, Country Director of Colombia, focuses on the importance of the new collaboration agreements. “When industry, the government and the local communities come together in agreement, this positively impacts all the actors in society. It’s vital to ensure that these channels of dialogue are always maintained as this enhances the likelihood of achieving actions that can change the lives of people inhabiting these regions for the better.”

"This project will create development opportunities for local business, turning it into an attractive prospect for landowners and encouraging them to make greater investments," envisions Echeverri, who has been closely involved in the studies and designs for the new road since the initial agreements were signed in June 2021. She’s also been participating in the technical committee in charge of the final review of the plans. She ticks off some complementary tasks on the list: “There will also be improvement works in towns, such as building shopping malls and additional bus stops which will benefit the community as a whole. When you improve a road you begin to improve the entire area!”

“The overriding sensation is one of joy and pride that this is all coming together at last. We’re delighted to be joining forces with the other operators to see this project through and reach all these agreements, as this is something that’s essential for the region: there is no doubt of the very close relationship between road infrastructure and the growth of society,” she concludes.

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