Environmental, Latin America, New Development, Project Activity

Argentina Federal Energy Council approves US$5 billion 1,310-MW Nestor Kirchner-Jorge Cepernic complex

At the inaugural meeting of Argentina’s Federal Energy Council last week, members voiced unanimous support for the construction of the US$5 billion 1,310-MW Nestor Kirchner–Jorge Cepernic hydropower complex planned for Santa Cruz River in Argentina.

Argentina’s Energy and Mining Ministry recently published a new environmental impact study for the project after the Supreme Court of Argentina suspended project work in December 2016, citing insufficient environmental evaluation and consultation with area residents.

According to BNamericas, local reports indicate the Kirchner and Cepernic projects will be located about 80 km apart and have capacities of 950 MW and 360 MW, respectively.

In May, HydroWorld.com reported the government of Argentina announced it would directly award the contract for the Kirchner-Cepernic hydro complex to expedite its completion, forgoing public tenders.

The project is under development by Represas Patagonia, a joint venture between Argentine firms Electroingenieria and Hidrocuyo, and China’s Gezhouba Group. China has committed to financing the project’s entire investment cost.

Kirchner is expected to feature a 75-meter-high concrete-faced rockfill dam and Cepernic a 43-meter-high dam.

State news service Telam reported in May the ministry would seek to hold a public hearing on the project in mid-July, and that preliminary works could resume as early as September.