Nuclear output up 69% in Argentina

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Nuclear power accounted for 8.2% of gross electricity generated in Argentina during December, up from 5.1% in the same month 2014.

The remainder came from thermal (61.1%), hydropower (29.3%), alternative energy (0.45%), and imports (1%), according to data from wholesale power market administrator Cammesa.

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The figures compare to 65.1%, 28.3%, 0.54% and 0.83%, respectively, in December 2014.

Argentina has three nuclear reactors currently in operation. Gross nuclear output increased 69% year-on-year to 1.055TWh.

MACRI TO REVIEW PROJECTS

In related news, Argentine President Mauricio Macri's government reportedly will analyze the viability of four power projects – two nuclear and two hydroelectric – totaling 4.1GW and touted by Macri's predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Fernández's government had secured financing deals with China for the US$5.8bn Atucha III nuclear reactor and the US$4.1bn Kirchner-Cepernic hydroelectric dam complex.

China had also said it would finance a fifth, 1GW nuclear reactor, while officials during the Fernández government had said they were nearing a financing deal with Russia for the US$2bn Chihuido I dam.

Macri's administration, which took office in December, will analyze the projects' financial, technical and environmental feasibility, according to a report in local newspaper Pérfil.

The principal diagnosis, the report said, is that Argentina was relatively isolated from the world under Fernández and that Macri's government could likely obtain more attractive financing conditions for the projects.

HEAT WAVE

Energy minister Juan José Aranguren confirmed that national power demand reached a new record of 24,609MW last Thursday amid a heat wave, with 23,000MW supplied by local generators.

The remainder had to be imported from neighbors, mainly Brazil and Uruguay.