World’s southernmost hydropower projects a sign of friendship between China and Argentina
Located some 200 kilometers downstream of the rich water resources originating from the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Hydroelectric Exploitation Rio Santa Cruz Condor Cliff and La Barrancosa dam projects bear the hope of Argentina’s clean energy supply as well as friendly ties between the Latin American country and China.
The project, also known as the Condor Cliff and La Barrancosa dams, are being jointly constructed by a consortium led by China Gezhouba (Group) Co. Ltd. and the Argentine firms Electroingenieria S.A. and Hidrocuyo S.A.
As the largest China-Latin America cooperation project, the hydro project boasts a huge investment of around $5.3 billion. It is the largest energy project in Argentina under construction and the largest overseas power project investment by a Chinese company.
Upon completion, it will be able to boost the nation’s power supply by 6.5% with an estimated annual electricity production of 4.95 billion kilowatts per hour, which will satisfy the energy demands of 1.5 million local households. The project will also be help Argentina save about $1.1 billion in oil imports.
According to Yuan Zhixiong, a deputy manager of China Gezhouba, the project went through a two-year-long environmental impact assessment to avoid negative ecological impact on the Santa Cruz River.
In addition to the potential power supply boost, the construction has also helped spur employment, with nearly 20,000 posts available during construction peak seasons. Some 80% of the employees are local residents, and they enjoy good pay and China-supported vocational trainings.
Source: People’s Daily