Province secures US$1 billion for Argentina’s 210-MW Portezuelo del Viento hydro plant

Argentina’s government has given US$1 billion to the Mendoza province to build the 210-MW Portezuelo del Viento hydro plant, which previously was halted.

According to BNamericas, the funds pay a debt the federal government owed several provinces since 2007.

In addition to providing electricity, the project aims to protect the upper basin of the Colorado River from floods and increase access to irrigation throughout the basin.

Current installed hydro generation capacity in the country is 29.5% hydro, with the majority (64.2%) being supplied by thermal facilities, Bnamericas says.

Portezuelo was conceived over 70 years ago and has gone through several versions and financing schemes. A construction tender was  launched in December 2018 under a PPP scheme. However, BNamericas reported at the time the project was being moved to a traditional public works model due to difficult economic conditions.

Funds will come in over the course of five years. Mendoza province authorities have also said they plan to use part of the money accrued by energy sales to create a trust that can be used to finance new energy projects.

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