Macri greenlights Portezuelo del Viento hydro plant

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri has ruled in favor of the construction of the 210MW Portezuelo del Viento hydro project (pictured) in Mendoza province.

"We have received news from the interior ministry. Finally, the president has issued his ruling in the dispute we had over the construction of Portezuelo del Viento," said Mendoza governor Alfredo Cornejo on Twitter.

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The dam is planned to be built in the south of the province over the Río Grande river which feeds the Colorado river that flows through the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, La Pampa and Buenos Aires.

With negotiations over the project having started in November 2016 already, Macri had to step in now as an arbitrator because a row among the provinces erupted last November. Four provinces (Mendoza, Río Negro, Neuquén and Buenos Aires) of the joint provincial committee of the Colorado River (COIRCO) approved construction, whereas La Pampa opposed it.

Mendoza says now that the president has given the green light, bidding may go ahead.

"It is not a ruling against La Pampa and in favor of Mendoza, but it is a ruling that eventually favors all Argentines by adding a new dam, with all that it implies in terms of tourism, water management and as a contribution to the national grid," said provincial minister Dalmiro Garay. He added, "the ruling not only allows procedures to continue for the call for bids for the construction of the dam, but also complies with the resolution by COIRCO in terms of the [impact on the] environment."