Argentina's Río Turbio coal-fired plant begins testing amid supply doubts

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hydraulic testing has begun at Argentina's controversial 240MW Río Turbio coal-fired power plant that is scheduled to come online next year, the federal government said in a release.

Developed by Isolux Corsán, the US$350mn plant will be operated by state coal miner YCRT, which is responsible for supplying 100% of the coal from the adjacent Río Turbio mine in southern Santa Cruz province.

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The problem, according to a report in local daily Clarín, is that the mine is only producing 16% of what the plant will demand next year upon startup.

The power plant will require 112,320t/m of coal and the mine is currently producing 19,008t/m, the report said, citing public information provided by YCRT.

"The policy of former President Néstor Kirchner and continued by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner laid the basis for us to build this mega coal-fired plant and that's what we have to defend," said federal planning undersecretary Roberto Baratta, who launched the testing.

According to the statement, YCRT has boosted operations to guarantee supply of the coal necessary for the thermo plant that was originally scheduled to start up in 2011.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.