Colombia: Offshore Wind Update 2023

In October 2023, the Colombian government launched the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the first competitive process to allocate seabed areas over the Caribbean Sea to develop offshore wind projects.

The document and its annexes were left open for comments until November 2023. The specifications to apply for a seabed area are based on a centralized allocation system coordinated by the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), which allocates onshore and offshore lease areas in the O&G sector. Key points:

The process is designed to assess the qualitative parameters of interested developers based on technical expertise, financial and legal requirements.

The process aims for the seabed leasing permit process to be developed in two stages. The first stage is called “Temporary Occupation Permit,” which provides a permit of 8 years for studies and development activities. The second stage is called “Concession Contract,” which allows up to 30 years of leasing permit that can be extendable up to 15 more years for the project’s operation and decommissioning.

The Colombian authorities have selected a total area comprising two polygons. The first and the more reduced one, predefined by the Colombian Maritime Authority (DIMAR), in which area restrictions and other productive activities have been previously excluded and are closer to infrastructure with a higher readiness level. And a more general polygon, where developers can nominate areas according to their preliminary analysis.

Both polygons are located in the coastline of the departments of Atlántico, Bolívar, Magdalena, and the north of Sucre on the Caribbean Sea – covering an area of about 10,700 km2.

The latest:

  • On 1st December, the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy modified the regulation of allocation of seabed leasing for offshore wind energy.
  • On 4th December, the response to the public consultation on the draft ToR for the 1st offshore wind auction was released (including response to > 400 comments+queries).
  • The period for submitting qualification documents is from December 21/23 to February 21/24, following by an evaluation process by the government that will culminate in November 2024.
  • Full schedule of the process is available on the ANH website

At OWC we are ready to support developers and stakeholders on this process that will lead to further decarbonisation of Colombia and to the development of offshore wind in the region. We have a team of professionals and experts in colombia and the LatAm region keen to support from our local offices in the region.

By Miguel Lotero Robledo (Colombia Regulatory Expert Advisor) and Adriana Vargas-Colwill (Senior Consultant at OWC)