Colombian infrastructure developer Desarrollo Vial al Mar has received a US$450mn credit line from the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) for the construction of a road between Medellín and the Caribbean Sea.

The Autopista al Mar 1 project is the seventh phase of Colombia’s landmark Fourth Generation (4G) infrastructure initiative, aiming to improve transport infrastructure in the country.

The financing was approved by the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), which is overseeing the initiative.

The Autopista al Mar 1 project involves a 176km road extension between Medellín and the Caribbean ports of the Urabá region, and has received overall investment of US$2.2bn.

“Through a wide, modern and safe motorway, [this project] will improve the country’s foreign trade competitiveness,” says ANI president Luis Fernando Andrade.

During GTR’s visit to Bogotá at the end of October, BBVA’s head of trade in the country, Jaime Gómez, explained the importance of improving infrastructure in Colombia. “To get goods from Bogotá to a port on the Pacific or Caribbean coast, it takes up to three days by truck, and costs about US$1,500 per container, compared to US$200 [from Lima to a port] in Peru,” he said.

The US$70bn 4G initiative was unveiled in 2013, and involves 47 projects spanning 8,000km of roadway and 3,500km of four-lane highways, as well as expansion of ports and railways, all of which are to be completed by the end of the decade.