The past couple of years have been tough on Chile. Widespread social unrest disrupted the economy at the end of 2019, forcing the government to adopt a series of drastic measures, while a committee to reform the Constitution was elected with a strong left-wing flavor. Meanwhile, Covid-19 pandemic struck and wreaked havoc on the economy.
Despite all this, the infrastructure sector saw plenty of activity in areas like transportation, renewable energy, energy transmission and desalination. It was enough to keep the winners of the Infrastructure Lawfirm of the Year in the Southern Cone very busy.
Garrigues Chile played an active part in some of the most remarkable infrastructure transactions that took place in the region in 2020 and 2021. One such deal is EnfraGen’s US$1.76 billion renewables deal, winner of both the Power Financing and Infrastructure Financing of the Year in Latin America.
The company, which has a team of 10 lawyers specialized in project and infrastructure financing in Santiago, also advised the inaugural international bond issue by Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado, EFE, the Best Infrastructure Financing in the Southern Cone.
Pedro García, a partner at Garrigues Chile, believes that although times are undoubtedly challenging, the Chilean infrastructure sector will continue to show dynamism.
“We expect some slowdown in the pace of projects, due to political uncertainty, but there still should be activity in the infrastructure market,” he says.
He stresses the ability of the law office to work across multiple jurisdictions, thanks to its presence across Latin America and its Madrid headquarters, from where the company keep in touch with the growing universe of infrastructure sponsors based in Europe.
García also says that the participation of capital markets will remain vital for Chilean projects, even though political winds may blow leftwards in forthcoming elections.
“Small and mid-sized economies that want to invest in infrastructure must keep working with private capital,” he concludes.