The Costa Rica state insurer, the Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS), says it could be willing to invest up to US$500 million in road construction projects that already have their pre-design and studies ready.

The road to Montevrede, one of Costa Rica’s hot tourist destinations. Photo Lonely Planet

The INS said they would only be interested in projects designated as “mature”, that is to say, those that already have all the approved permits and pre-designs. The problem with this requirement, according to the executive director of the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos (CFIA) – Federated College of Engineers and Architects (CFIA), is that planning problems faced by Conavi, the transportation arm of the Ministry of Public Works make it impossible to meet this requirement.

“…”Unfortunately, it’s not the way the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) have been working,” Olman Vargas, executive director of the CFIA said.”

The US$500 million represents 20% of the INS’s investment portfolio, which amounts to approximately US$2.5 billion dollars.

For his part, the INS executive president, Elián Villegas, explained the reasons why it is important that these conditions are met. Villegas told La Nacion that “… “For us, the reputational issue is important when we get involved in a project. If the INS enters into an investment, that investment must be successful. We can not risk staying five, six, seven or eight years in a project that does not progress and does not turn out well. If we are going to get involved in a project, the project must be successful’.”

Among the projects that could see an INS investment are the 29 kilometer road between Sifó de San Ramon and La Abundancia de San Carlos, in the ‘tramite’ process of the last 12 years

In its report, La Nacion said it tried to contact Germán Valverde, Minister of the MOPT and Carlos Solis, head of the Conavi. But, neither returned calls.