22 de November de 2023

Desarrollo País acquires six sites for Minvu housing and nine bus terminals

The company, also known as the Infrastructure Fund, expects to formalize a new partner to advance in the construction of an underwater fiber optic cable between Valparaíso and Sydney.

As a real estate, digital, and transportation infrastructure arm of the Chilean State, Desarrollo País is consolidating its position. The company, born as the Infrastructure Fund, is showing progress in various areas four years after starting operations. In the real estate sector, one of its remarkable projects involves acquiring sites for the the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism (Minvu) plans, which aim to deliver 260,000 homes during the current government to address the housing deficit.

For this purpose, Desarrollo País, received a capital contribution of $300 billion at the end of 2022, earmarked for acquiring sites for Minvu’s land bank. It has already completed the purchase of six plots in various regions—Los Lagos, Valparaíso, and Coquimbo—totaling 252,000 square meters, and is evaluating 30 other properties. By the end of this year, the company expects to have disbursed one-third of the total budget, according to Patricio Rey, general manager of Desarrollo País.

Luz Granier, president of the state-owned company, stated being able to acquire the land provides greater agility to the processes, emphasizing that they are working urgently to support the government in reducing the housing deficit, ensuring transparency and compliance with regulations.

Office Leasing

In the real estate sector, the company reclaimed 8,000 square meters of offices that the State had in disuse in Santiago Downtown building. After obtaining a lucrative concession for the premises—with the National Assets Council—and refurbishing the facilities, for which it allocated around US$4 million, it now leases them to other public entities such as Mejor Niñez and InvestChile, “at market price,” as indicated by the entity. Desarrollo País aims to replicate this office leasing model in other regions, where public entities often rent houses to operate, and their areas are distributed in multiple locations. The goal is to consolidate state services in a single building.


Another focus of the state-owned company is transportation infrastructure. Here, the acquisition of nine bus terminals for the capital’s transportation system (Red, formerly Transantiago) stands out, involving an expenditure of around US$80 million. Luz Granier explained that the purchase of these terminals by the State allows detaching the property from the infrastructure’s bus operation, facilitating competition by private entities in the system.

The entity mentioned that the Ministry of Transport has requested them to study the development of “electroterminals” in other regions of the country, not only in Santiago. Also, for the Metropolitan Region, they are exploring not only the purchase of new terminals but also vacant lots to build facilities for buses and other services oriented towards the public.

Partner for Submarine Cable

Last year, Desarrollo País, together with H2 Cable—a subsidiary of BW Digital, based in Singapore—informed about the call for proposals for the construction of the first submarine fiber optic cable, approximately 15,000 kilometers long. This cable, named the Humboldt Cable, aims to connect South America with the Asia-Pacific and Oceania: Valparaíso and Sydney, Australia, are the anchor points, with an investment between US$400 million and US$500 million.

However, the agreement with H2 did not progress, and the state-owned company decided to search for a new strategic partner. Asked if this partner would be Google—as it has already been rumored—Luz Granier stated that they cannot comment on the matter due to confidentiality agreements. Nevertheless, Patricio Rey commented that the new partner will significantly contribute to the project’s “very high probability of success. It provides much more certainty, more profitability, and a higher degree of certainty. Also, a shortening of the timeline.”

The executive stated that within the first quarter of 2024, they expect to formalize the new partner. Also, he affirmed that the cable will connect with Asia, with “Singapore being the focal point.”

Other areas that Desarrollo País is evaluating include desalination and green hydrogen. Rey stated, “We don’t have active projects there, but we are always involved in listening to plans.”