EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES

Colombia 2018 | ENERGY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Daniel M. Lucio Farfán, CEO of Summum Group, on building Colombia's infrastructure, exploration blocks, and Metro Bogotá.

 Daniel M. Lucio Farfán
BIOGRAPHY
Daniel M. Lucio Farfán, CEO of Summum Group, is a Colombian lawyer who graduated from the University of La Sabana and specialized in contracts from the University Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. He also holds an MBA from Tulane University in the US. In the last nine years of his professional career, he has assumed different senior level positions within the oil and gas industry in Latin America.

Summum has been working in projects in Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Peru, Panama, and Colombia. How has the group evolved?

We have 33 companies across the globe, and in Colombia we operate through three companies: Summum Energy (oil and gas services), Summum Projects (engineering for power sector), and Gomez Cajiao (engineering for infrastructure). We also worked with Summum Energy in Ecuador and Mexico in the past. Currently, with Gómez Cajiao and Summum Energy, we just have operations in Colombia, though we intend to establish in Mexico and Peru. Summum Energy in Colombia has almost all the large private players and the state as clients. Gómez Cajiao is an engineering company focused on the infrastructure side of the business, which includes ports, roads, free trade zones, power projects, and buildings. Although it is focused on the power sector and has significant experience in the downstream and midstream, Summum Projects is also an engineering company. Our headquarters are in Bogotá, and we also have operations in Meta department, Buenaventura, Barrancabermeja, Arauca, Cartagena, and Casanare. In Mexico, we are working in the power sector and also in oil and gas, both with public and private companies. In Peru, we are supervising the modernization of Talara refinery, which is perhaps the most important project in Latin America in terms of oil and gas.

How does Summum finance those projects and who are your shareholders?

Our company belongs to investment funds, the largest of which is a Canadian fund. It is a fund that manages assets of around USD90 billion around the world and is one of the top-five investment funds in the world. The second one is a regional fund that is 10 years old and manages around USD600 million, whereas the third is another investment fund that manages around USD9 billion. They are the largest shareholders of our company, and they manage resources from retired people, institutional entities, and multilateral entities

What projects is Summum currently working on in Colombia?

In Gómez Cajiao's infrastructure division, we have been the strongest company in ports in recent times, and just in 2017 alone, we completed two ports: a river port in Barrancabermeja and a seaport in Buenaventura. Other than that, we have some projects in Colombia that are being performed through framework agreements with private operators. We have also oil and gas projects with the largest private players in Colombia in Arauca, Meta, Casanare, and Guajira.

Due to Summum's wide experience in building metros in the region, do you plan to work on the project for the Metro of Bogotá?

Part of the conversations we are having with potential strategic partners are related to Metro Bogotá. We have a great deal of expectations for that project and are waiting for such opportunities to show our capabilities.

Colombia has unveiled plans to offer 15 exploration blocks for licensing in 2017, focusing on the northeast. What role will Summum take within these explorations?

Our role is to offer services to the operators that get those fields. We are not an operator; we are a services company. During the last three years in Mexico, the government issued different fields for different companies, both onshore and offshore; those are the kind of opportunities we are seeking.

What are your main goals and priorities for 2018?

Our purpose is to keep growing in Latin America, with special focus on Mexico and Peru. We will sign a new agreement in Peru with a private client for Summum Project. Moreover, we initiated work for two new clients in Colombia in 2017. In 2016, companies were adjusting their size due to the economic challenges in the region. However, since the start of 2017, companies have been making serious investments. 2018 will be better than 2017 in those terms despite the elections in Colombia and Mexico, which will affect things a little, though more on the public side of the business.