Ecuador bars Odebrecht from new infrastructure contracts

Ecuador bars Odebrecht from new infrastructure contracts

Brazil Andean Ecuador Project & Infrastructure Finance

Ecuador has barred government entities from awarding public works contracts to Brazil's Odebrecht after the company admitted to making $33.5m in bribes over the past decade.

"During the investigation of Odebrecht's contracts in Ecuador, state institutions, for now, cannot hire the company," Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said in a tweet. The ban includes the federal, provincial and city governments.

Ecuador becomes the third country in the region to prohibit Odebrecht from signing contracts for new infrastructure projects, following Panama and Peru. According to a plea agreement with the US Justice Department, Odebrecht paid $59m in bribes in Panama and $29m in Peru.

Odebrecht's bribes helped the company win $116m in contracts in Ecuador. Odebrecht's projects in the country include a $1.5bn contract to build part of the Quito subway system in a consortium with Spain's Acciona. The Brazilian firm is also working on the expansion of a deepwater port in the city of Manta and the construction of the Pascuales-Cuenca pipeline, among other projects.

Odebrecht and its petrochemical affiliate Braskem agreed last month to pay BRL6.93bn ($2.12bn) in fines in Brazil, Switzerland and the US.