Buenos Aires Weather | Argentina signs an agreement for the construction of a fourth nuclear power plant


Argentina and China this week announced an agreement to build the Latin American country’s fourth nuclear power plant, just days before President Alberto Fernández’s visit to Beijing.

State-owned energy company Nucleoeléctrica Argentina and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) on Tuesday signed a contract for the development of Atucha III, which will include a 1,200 megawatt (MWE) electric reactor and have an initial lifespan of 60 years. .

The project, which is part of the government’s “Plan Nucleoeléctrica”, will require an investment of more than $8 billion and create 7,000 jobs, according to a statement.

The plant will be located in the Atucha nuclear complex in Lima, in the north of the province of Buenos Aires. Construction work is expected to begin at the end of this year.

The EPC contract (engineering, purchase and construction, for its acronym in English) provides for the supply of engineering, construction, acquisition, start-up and delivery of an HPR-1000 type plant, which will use enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator.

The news was announced during a virtual press conference attended by the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, the Chinese ambassador to Argentina Zou Xiaoli, his Argentine counterpart in China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, and Energy Undersecretary Federico Basualdo, among others.

“We all know that without energy we have no development or possible future, so it is a great pleasure for me to support this signing,” said Kicillof.

The president of Nucleoeléctrica, José Luis Antúnez, stressed the importance of moving forward with concrete actions, “so that we can meet Argentina’s electricity demand with basic, clean, safe and sustainable energy, and combat the effects of climate change affecting the planet”.

The state-owned company operates and builds the three existing nuclear power plants in Argentina, which include the Juan Domingo Perón – Atucha I, Néstor Kirchner – Atucha II sites, both located in Lima; and Embalse, in the province of Córdoba, supplying up to 7.5% of Argentina’s electricity, according to private estimates.

President’s visit

Fernández arrived in Beijing late Thursday evening ahead of a four-day visit that includes a high-profile meeting with Chinese Premier Xi Jingping.

Visits to the Chinese Communist Party Museum, the Forbidden City, the mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the Great Wall are also on the presidential program.

The Peronist leader, who will attend the inauguration of the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday and meet Argentine athletes on Sunday, is seeking to deepen ties with China during his visit. The talks are expected to focus on reviving trade between the two nations.

“This is a great opportunity to strengthen our ties and joint business projects,” Fernández told China Central Television (CGTN) earlier this week.

One of the president’s goals is to advance ongoing discussions for a new currency exchange. Buenos Aires has asked Chinese authorities for an extension of an existing agreement for an additional $1.3 billion to boost central bank reserves.

Fernández and Xi will also discuss current and potential infrastructure and construction projects, with Atucha III being the latest in a series of works undertaken with Chinese capital.

Reports in multiple outlets this week suggest the two countries are set to agree on a five-year investment plan worth an initial US$35 billion, which would pave the way for several major projects energy and infrastructure, including two hydroelectric dams in the province of Santa Cruz. , Néstor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic (former Cóndor Cliff and La Barrancosa).


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