Ministry of Mines and Energy. Villavicencio, Meta. September 29th, 2018. During the ninth ‘Construyendo País' workshop, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Maria Fernanda Suarez, announced an addition to the royalty budget which shall benefit the people of the Department of Meta, considered as the first oil-producing department in Colombia thanks to providing almost 50% production of national production.
"Oil prices for 2018 are higher than what had been budgeted. For this reason, in January of 2019 there will be an addition to the royalty budget that will allow us to provide better opportunities," the Minister argued.
She reiterated that the National Government will promote an effective investment of resources from royalties in order to let them be reflected as public works or projects that benefit communities. "Resources from royalties, representing almost 46% of the total income of this department, must properly lead to public works with effectiveness and transparency," she pointed out.
In this sense, she highlighted that projects must begin to be structured in order to receive financing from the addition, so that the people of Meta can quickly see the investment of those resources.
Likewise, Minister Maria Fernanda Suarez underlined the joint commitment made with the Ministry of Labor in order to issue a decree that shall establish the rules for undertaking better follow up, verification and control over the local labor contracting within sector projects.
Renewable energy for Meta
During the ‘Construyendo País' workshop in Villavicencio, Ecopetrol confirmed that construction of a solar park shall begin next year at Castilla La Nueva municipality for supplying part of the energy demanded by the Castilla field, which is the second largest nationwide. The park shall have a capacity between 10 and 15MW, equivalent to what would be used by 6,000 households, which is a similar amount to the level corresponding to a municipality such as Vista Hermosa.
Mining formalization, a commitment to the department
Regarding mining affairs, the Ministry of Mines and Energy shall enter into an agreement with the Office of the Governor of Meta next year, continuing to advance towards mining formalization. In Meta, medium-scale mining activities enable the extraction of construction materials employed for public works such as roads and houses, not only within the department but also in neighboring regions such as Bogota and Cundinamarca.
Similarly, in October, the first Regional Mining Interaction Roundtable (MINA) nationwide will be established. This is a space meant to articulate the public policy for mining with national, department and local authorities, which shall strengthening the mining formalization process of, in this case, the Department of Meta.