Argentina to construct hydroelectric dams with China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 29, 2017
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Argentina's government announced Monday it was endorsing the joint construction of two hydroelectric dams in southern Santa Cruz Province with a Chinese company.

President Mauricio Macri's administration announced the endorsement via a joint resolution issued by the ministries of energy and environment.

"Public works approved," the article said, referring to the Nestor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic dams to be built along the Santa Cruz River.

Concerns about the environmental impact of the project had led to additional studies, and the recommendations will be incorporated in the environmental management plan of the dams, the article said.

The binational project is being undertaken by China's Gezhouba Group, a construction and engineering company that is also helping to finance the work, and an Argentine consortium comprised of Electroingenieria and Hidrocuyo.

In December, the Supreme Court of Justice ordered new impact studies, as well as a congressional hearing on the project, in response to a petition by environmental NGOs.

At the hearing, held on July 20, lawmakers agreed on "the benefit of making progress on the execution of the works for the development of the country," according to the resolution.

"Provincial authorities presented their positive arguments, highlighting the project's contribution to clean energy production, promotion of economic development and employment outlook," it added.

Once completed, the dams will provide 5,000 gigawatt hours of energy, enough to power 1.5 million homes and meet 4 percent of the country's annual energy needs.

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