BNDES backs US$1.2bn OAS project in Argentina

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brazil's national development bank BNDES has confirmed its intentions to finance 40% of the 485MW Los Blancos large hydro project on the Tunuyán river in western Argentina, according to Mendoza provincial governor Francisco Pérez.

A consortium formed by Brazilian construction company OAS and Argentine firms Cartellone, CPC Ingeniería e Infraestructura and Obras Andinas is scheduled to build the duel dam (324MW Los Blancos and 162MW Los Tordillos) project after it was pre-awarded the contract in September 2012.

After a meeting with BNDES vice president Wagner Betancourt, Pérez said via his twitter account that meeting with the bankers and the engineering consortium in Rio De Janeiro was "positive" and that "BNDES committed to finance 40% of the project and deliver a 10% advance."

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The project, which is expected to cost approximately US$1.18bn according to national estimates, "is a priority for the strategic energy plan driven by our president [Cristina Fernández]," Pérez tweeted. The remainder of the financing is to come from the national government.

Work on the project will begin in July, Pérez said during the opening session of the provincial government on May 1.

The funds will not likely appear until funds for the US$3.56bn, 1.74GW Néstor Kirchner-Jorge Cepernic hydro project in Santa Cruz province are disbursed, according to local reports, which indicated work on Los Blancos may not begin until 2014 due to lack of national funding.