Santo Rizzuto, senior vice president and general manager, mining and metals, SKM said the project represented a major opportunity for the company to work with existing clients in an expanding region. “SKM has a long history of working in coal in the Bowen Basin in Queensland, Australia, and, combined with our growing presence in South America, the Cerrejon project will enable us to bring our skills and experience in engineering and project delivery to this important project and region,” said Rizzuto.

“The project not only further strengthens our delivery expertise in the coal sector but also enhances our presence in Colombia,” said Feroz Ashraf, executive vice president, SNC-Lavalin Group. “Given our recent acquisition of Itansuca in Colombia, with more than 1,000 employees, we are well-positioned to serve our clients in the fields of energy, infrastructure, oil and gas and mining and metallurgy…”

The mine currently exports 32 million metric tons per year (mtpy) of steam coal. This project will raise the exported volume of coal to 40 million mtpy with a planned future upgrade to increase the total output to 60 million mtpy. The total project value for Phase 1 is more than $1billion of which the value under the joint venture’s management is approximately $370 million.