Colombia Emerging Market for German Mining Products

Colombia Emerging Market for German Mining Products

Colombia is considered a rising emerging market; an annual growth rate of at least five percent is forecast to 2015. It is attracting considerable interest in the world’s manufacturing industry especially because of its wealth of natural resources and fossil fuels. In coal production, for example, Colombia is Latin America’s leading producer and the tenth largest producer in the world. With more than 6 billion metric tons, the country owns the largest coal reserves of Latin America.

To produce this coal, however, the Colombian coal mining industry needs modern technology. In the Colombian seams, mining is currently still being conducted primarily by hand with the aid of pneumatic pick hammers. German companies like BARTEC Sicherheits-Schaltanlagen GmbH located in Menden are in a position to deliver innovative mining technology for use in underground mining.

To gain greater insight into the political and economic situation in Colombia and the conditions in the mining industry in particular, the Latin America steering committee of the VDMA Mining Equipment professional association invited Colombian Ambassador Juan Mayr Maldonado to attend a meeting at BARTEC Sicherheits-Schaltanlagen in Menden at the end of February. In this meeting, the mining experts were able to conduct in-depth discussions with the political representative regarding the opportunities in the Colombian market for mining machine technology “made in Germany.” Among other things, agreements were reached regarding discussions with the Colombian Minister of Mining during the Colombia Minera mining trade show in Medellin in September 2012 and a possible tour to visit German mining equipment suppliers. In addition, exchange programs for Colombian mining students on technology transfer are to be advanced and a training project for mining safety in Colombia is to be continued to improve the inadequate training received by the miners there.

Discussions with the ambassador confirmed Managing Director of BARTEC in Menden, Andreas Scheid, in his conviction that the Colombian market offers great opportunities for his mining products that have been tried and tested in Germany. Last year BARTEC succeeded in winning its first contract at the Colombian Ramada pit. Ramada has been a family-owned business for several generations and extracts high quality coking coal. Here too, mining in the steep coal seams is still being conducted by hand with the aid of pneumatic pick hammers. But the goal is to mechanize both drifting and extraction and thereby increase efficiency. For this purpose an electrical power network is set up underground to supply the new machines with the necessary power. BARTEC supplied the required transformers with the monitoring components for the underground power network and the switchgear for the machines.

“Along with the ambassador we can advance our efforts to tap into the great potential in the Colombian market,” he explains. “BARTEC is ideally equipped for the challenges in this market.”