Uruguay - Country Commercial Guide
Infrastructure Projects

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-07

Overview

The Uruguayan Government is planning to increase infrastructure investment to reactivate the country’s economy.  In 2022, the Ministry of Transport and Public Work is planning to invest $532 million; in 2023, $329 million; and in 2024, $260 million. Almost 20 percent of these amounts will be directed to the development and improvement of national transportation infrastructure.  In terms of infrastructure financing, Uruguay became the second Latin American country to become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in April 2020. Other multilateral development banks such as the IADB, the World Bank and CAF are also active in Uruguay.

For information on other infrastructure projects please contact: Office.Montevideo@trade.gov.

Leading Sub-Sector

Ports

The Uruguayan government extended the concession for the operation of the sea container terminal, Cuenca del Plata, in the Montevideo Port until 2080 to Belgian company, Katoen Natie.  Katoen Natie later announced a $460 million investment for the expansion and modernization of the terminal which will increase the area of the terminal, improve IT, security, and infrastructure.

The Argentinian company, PTP Group, announced the construction and operation of an agro-industrial port complex in Punta Arenal, Soriano. The project will enhance the role of Uruguay as a pivot point that facilitates navigation to and from other countries through the Paraná-Paraguay waterway.  This project would represent an investment of $80 million and manage 5,000 tons of breakbulk cargo per year.  Operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2023.

Uruguay’s National Port Administration approved the concession of the Capurro commercial fishing terminal in the Port of Montevideo. This concession includes 10 hectares of land area where the concessionaire provides commercial fishing logistics, port activities, dredging, ship repairs, transshipment, and warehousing. The tender for this concession is expected in the first quarter of 2022.

Hydroelectric Facilities

In May 2019, Uruguay announced a plan to modernize and renovate the binational Salto Grande Dam between Uruguay and Argentina. This three-stage project will be developed over the next 30 years.  The first stage, from 2019-2023, is valued at $80 million and received Inter-American Development Bank financing.   In addition to the Salto Grande renovation project, state-owned enterprise, UTE, launched a modernization project for the Baygorria Dam.  The Baygorria Dam was built in 1960 and will need an estimated investment of $50 million to complete the renovation project.  The U.S. Commercial Service will be updating its website with tender information for these projects as information becomes available.

Water Treatment

The Government of Uruguay announced $1 billion investment for the design and development of a nation-wide sanitation project, to be completed over a period of four years.  The project will be financed through user connection fees, a $164 million contribution from the state-owned company water and sanitation company, OSE, and $697 million from the central government.  Included in this project is the design and construction of 54 new water treatment plants, improvement of 40 existing water treatment plants, the installation of 3,472 km of sewer infrastructure and the construction of 246,973 new home connections.

Also, the Government is studying a private initiative presented by a local consortium for a $200 million project a new water treatment plant at the Río de la Plata.  The plan includes an 80 kilometers pipeline that will connect the Montevideo to this second source of water. 

Potable water resource management is an emerging issue.  In 2013 and again in early 2015 isolated incidents of cyanobacteria-tainted water highlighted the need for urgent government investments in upgrading and monitoring water quality. The widespread appearance of cyanobacteria subsequently negatively affected Uruguay’s 2018-19 tourist season.

Resources

  •  Embassy Contacts: Office.Montevideo@trade.gov; https://www.trade.gov/uruguay
  • Ministry of Transportation and Public Works (MTOP)
  • National Ports Administration (ANP)
  • National Railway Administration (AFE)