Ministry of Mines and Energy. Guapi, Cauca. June 22nd, 2018. The Ministry of Mines and Energy has presented the results of eight years of working on behalf of a sector that needed to transform and reinvent itself in order to face the challenges of an increasingly dynamic industry. The inauguration of the Cauca-Nariño power line, which took place inside the municipality of Guapia in Cauca, provided an opportunity for the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata, to describe the achievements that were accomplished during this Administration in the presence of President Juan Manual Santos.
"We are glad to tell the country about the great achievements of a sector that has contributed $381 trillion pesos between 2010 and 2017, a historical record. The trust and credibility of both the region and the world directed towards an increasingly sustainable energy matrix, Proper Mining Activities and an extraction and exploration of hydrocarbons which respects the communities have made us think that we have taken Colombia along the road leading to mining and energy progress," said the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata.
Thanks to hydrocarbons and Proper Mining Activities, the country received over $153 trillion between 2010 and 2017 in dividends, taxes and royalties that, in addition to reaching their highest levels over the last few decades, have been used in order to finance social programs which have particularly benefitted the most vulnerable population of the country.
Support from foreign investors during the last eight years was also among the more memorable achievements, with foreign direct investment surpassing $92 trillion pesos, a figure that shows the great dynamism of the mining and energy engine that was able to stimulate foreign sales, by making mining and hydrocarbons exports surpass $536 trillion pesos between 2010 and 2017, which is a 162% increase compared to the figures between 2002 and 2009.
Regarding energy affairs, the Minister highlighted "The Santos Administration will be remembered as a Government focused on renewable energies. Promoting energy diversification and the supplementary nature of the matrix with clean energy sources was one of our dreams and we have achieved it. The wind power transmission line in La Guajira is a clear example arising from this effort."
Increasing energy coverage was another one of the fronts where the Ministry of Mines has worked in order to provide the national territory with almost 98% coverage. Over the last eight years, electricity services were able to reach over 202,000 new families for the first time, particularly emphasizing the relevance of what has happened after signing the peace agreement, providing electrical connections to 29,000 families living in post-conflict areas in 62 municipalities corresponding to 20 departments nationwide.
One the flagship initiatives of the Ministry's performance has been providing natural gas coverage, as 9 million Colombians currently have access to their service in their homes, a figure which has had a positive impact on the quality of life and health of thousands of Colombian families that, in many cases, only had access to firewood as their only option for preparing meals.
Formulation has been one of the main pillars of an Administration that consolidated a new mining model. "Thanks to Proper Mining Activities and the formulation policies, we have been able to bring legality to 6,330 new miners between 2010 and 2017, reaching a total of 10,530 legalized miners, surpassing by more than 150% the 4,200 legalized miners recorded in the year 2011," said the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata.
The mining and energy legacy of the Santos Administration has marked the path towards sustainability and will undoubtedly continue providing dynamism to the economic future, promoting foreign investment, creating jobs and, more importantly, contributing the resources needed for national social development.