Felipe Castro Arenas is Crossrail International’s (CI’s) Country Director for Colombia. Based in Bogotá, he is responsible for the management of CI’s commissions and the creation of new business opportunities throughout the country, as well as the Latin American region.
Felipe has 20 years of experience in the engineering and construction industries, with recent focus on the development of Colombia’s road and rail infrastructure. Prior to joining CI in April 2023, he spent five years at the British Embassy Colombia in Bogotá as Infrastructure Adviser for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s UK-Colombia Prosperity Programme to support economic development, unlock economic opportunities, and drive growth in Colombia’s regions. Felipe was responsible for delivering the programme’s objectives around rail and urban development in Colombia, managing agreements with development banks, implementing partners, and leading the adaptation and adoption of UK tools for quality infrastructure development, including BIM (Building Information Modelling), HM Treasury’s Five Case Model (for Business Cases), and the Infrastructure and Project Authority’s (IPA’s) Project Routemap for complex, major projects.
Since the passing of Law 1508 in 2012, Colombia’s first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law, Felipe has specialised in the technical, financial and legal assessment of infrastructure projects for attracting private investment. As Technical Adviser at Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura, ANI), he successfully led the appraisals and approvals processes of the first unsolicited PPP proposals under the new law. These included two of the most complex 30+ years highway concessions crossing the Andes Mountains – between Bogotá and Villavicencio, and Ibagué and Cajamarca – which paved the way for these types of schemes to represent almost a third of the portfolio of the country’s transformational Fourth Generation (4G) Roads Concession Programme, a large-scale plan to create a nationwide toll road network with private sector participation.
Earlier in his career, Felipe spent time with a variety of Colombian contracting and manufacturing firms, specialising in innovative civil/structural engineering and construction of buildings and infrastructure.
He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the Julio Garavito School of Engineering (Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería ‘Julio Garavito’) in Bogotá and an MSc in Construction Management and Engineering from the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. In 2013, selected by the US Embassy in Bogotá, Felipe completed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a professional exchange program funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.