Colombia’s national oil company Ecopetrol is set to benefit from almost US$1bn-worth of loan guarantees granted by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Ex-Im).

The bank has given final approval to a US$420mn five-year loan guarantee facility and a US$459.8mn 10-year loan guarantee facility, both of which will finance the sale of goods and services from various US exporters to Ecopetrol.

Chairman of the bank, Fred Hochberg made a preliminary commitment to provide these facilities during a visit to Colombia in January.

BNP Paribas (New York) is the sole lender under both these guarantees.

The financing package is intended to support Ecopetrol’s development of oil and gas reserves, improving existing oil field production and upgrading refineries. The company plans to boost petroleum production to 1 barrel of oil equivalent per day by 2015.

In particular, the long-term facility will support the modernisation of the Berrancabermeja refinery, Colombia’s largest refiner. The medium-term loan will support company-wide capital investments.

Colombia has been identified by US Ex-Im as one the nine dynamic economies with a growing appetite for infrastructure development that offer US exporters the greatest opportunities for increased sales.