Private sector plays a key role in equality": Astrid Álvarez Hernández
08 March 2019
GEB is searching for new business opportunities in Latin America.
Astrid Álvarez has been a leader since her student days, guiding the students in her tutoring classes at the Javeriana University, the institution where she studied. This is how she perfected her profile by working as a professional in companies such as Ecopetrol and now Grupo Energía Bogotá. To celebrate Women's Day, this businesswoman, who leads a company with revenues close to $3,3 billion, spoke with LR about the advances in equality and highlighted that the private sector plays "a key role in promoting equality".
How do you think Colombia is doing in terms of gender equality and what are the challenges?
Talent has no gender. At Grupo Energía Bogotá we give the same employment opportunities to both men and women. However, in certain more technical and operational roles there is not much female representation.
We are very proud that the energy sector is led by a woman and that several of the main trade unions and companies in the sector are headed by women. The private sector plays a key role in promoting equality. We are doing this by adhering to the UN Women's principles for the empowerment of women and signing the agreement to implement the Equipares gender equality management system, working together on this with the Minister of Labor, Alicia Arango.
How did 2018 close for Grupo Energía Bogotá in terms of income and growth?
We obtained excellent financial and operational results in 2018 thanks to the work we have been doing with our energy and natural gas businesses in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Guatemala. These will be reported at the General Shareholders' Meeting later this month.
How is the expansion process advancing in Peru and Latin America?
With our company Cálidda we reached a historical record in 2018, with 184,000 natural gas connections in only one year, with which we surpassed 750,000 clients, benefiting approximately three million Peruvians.
In Guatemala, we completed an important project to strengthen the energy transmission system: the South Pacific Ring; with our company Ebbis, and with Trecsa, we continued to advance in the Transmission System Expansion Plan (PET), an 823 km project, including 22 substations.
Do you see new opportunities?
We are reviewing new opportunities, not only in the countries where we operate but also in other Latin American countries. In natural gas, we see great opportunities in Colombia with the bidding process for the award of the Pacific Regasification Plant, a key project to guarantee the gas supply in the country and which is strategic for the region. In Peru, we are interested in acquiring Dunas Energía, a distribution company, which operates in the ICA region, and which owns Electrodunas. We are awaiting the closing of this process.
What are the opportunities for this year?
We expect earnings to continue to grow year by year to provide more dividends to our shareholders.