Argentina governor advocates 2015 construction start for US$2bn dam

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The governor of Argentina's Neuquén province, Jorge Sapag, said he hopes construction will begin next year on the 640MW Chihuido I dam, according to a report from state news agency Télam.

Of the four groups which presented technical and economic offers to build the hydro project, the proposal from a group led by Argentine firm Helport was deemed the most attractive.

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The group presented an offer valued at approximately 15bn pesos (US$1.76bn), backed by Russian financing.

The tender stipulates a five-year construction period, after which the builder will operate the dam for 15 years. After this period, the province will assume ownership of Chihuido I.

Barring objections from other bidders in the coming days, works will be awarded to Helport, Sapag said, quoted in a report by local outlet Diariamente Neuquén.

The plant is expected to generate 1,750GWh/y, or enough to supply 600,000 homes.

Hydroelectricity currently accounts for about 22% of energy produced in Neuquén, according to the provincial government, with thermo plants providing the rest.

Also from Argentina, the planning ministry announced that distributor Edesur installed an 80MVA transformer at the Caballito substation to bolster supply in Buenos Aires.