U.S. Trade and Development Agency
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Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax (703) 875-4009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA INQUIRIES:
USTDA AWARDS GRANT TO DEVELOP
COLOMBIA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES
USTDA Support for Priority Colombian Energy Projects Reaches $2 Million
U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez (second from left), AeroCivil Director General Fernando Sanclemente (third from left) and AeroCivil Deputy Director General Colonel Carlos Montealegre (far right) listen as USTDA Policy and Program Director Geoffrey Jackson (far left) speaks at the grant signing ceremony.
BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA (August 8, 2006) – Fostering the diversification of Colombia’s energy resources in its civil aviation sector is the goal of a USTDA grant awarded today to Colombia’s Civil Aviation Special Administrative Unit (AeroCivil). The grant builds on the agency’s efforts to strengthen the environment in Colombia for investment in the nation’s energy resources consistent with the goals of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, which was concluded in February to increase bilateral trade. In 2006, USTDA grants in support of priority Colombian energy projects total $2.05 million.
USTDA Policy and Program Director Geoffrey Jackson signed an agreement to officially confer today’s $700,000 grant during a ceremony held at the Radisson Royal Bogotá Hotel. AeroCivil Director General Fernando Sanclemente signed the grant agreement on behalf of the Colombian government. U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and AeroCivil Deputy Director General Colonel Carlos Montealegre witnessed the grant signing ceremony. Secretary Gutierrez is in Bogotá as a member of the Presidential Delegation attending the inauguration of President Alvaro Uribe. U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William B. Wood was present at the signing ceremony.
The USTDA grant will be used to develop a plan for using renewable energy sources to operate AeroCivil’s remote radar installations, navigational aids sites, aeronautical communications stations, and aeronautical meteorological stations throughout Colombia. AeroCivil expects that the use of renewable energy resources will improve aviation safety in Colombia by increasing the reliability of the nation’s remote power supply infrastructure and reducing the cost of operating remote facilities. The conversion to renewable energy sources will demonstrate how technology can be utilized to generate power in remote areas in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
Today’s grant follows the award of three grants totaling $1.35 million earlier this year in the Colombian energy sector that were designed to attract new investment in the nation’s hydrocarbon resources. Two of the grants are funding separate investment analysis studies for Ecopetrol S.A., Colombia’s state-owned oil company, on the proposed modernization of the Barrancabermeja oil refinery and increased safety, security, and integrity associated with Colombia’s hydrocarbon pipeline system. The third grant is funding technical assistance for the National Hydrocarbons Agency in improving its capacity to carry out its upstream licensing and tender responsibilities.
The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded analysis for AeroCivil under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fedbizopps.gov). Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. AeroCivil will select the U.S. contractor that will conduct the study.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.