Argentina's 1.74GW hydro finally awarded to Gezhouba

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Argentina has formally awarded the contract to build the 1.74GW Néstor Kirchner-Jorge Cepernic dual dam hydro project in Santa Cruz province, according to the official gazette, after two previous attempts failed to secure financing.

A consortium led by Chinese firm Gezhouba and Argentine companies Electroingeniería and Hidrocuyo won the contract for the first hydro project on the Santa Cruz river with a bid of 22.9bn pesos (US$4.09bn), according to a presidential statement.

The 50mn man-hour project is slated to take five and a half years to complete after which it is expected to produce 5.3GWh/y, 15% of current generation levels.

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In addition to the Néstor Kirchner-Jorge Cepernic project, Argentina is slowly moving forward with large hydro projects such as the 640MW Chihuido I in Neuquén province, and the 486MW Los Blancos and 216MW Portezuelo del Viento hydros in Mendoza.

During their latest trip to Argentina, Gezhouba executives expressed interest in participating in other hydro projects, with the 640MW Chihuido I at the top of the list.

Backed by the Chinese Development Bank (CDB), Gezhouba has had less trouble securing financing than others developing similar projects in Argentina.