Strong commercial message at an inauguration: “This work was possible because the contracts were respected”

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It was an inauguration in full sun and with cause for celebration. After all, the operation of the Barragán Thermal Power Plant in Ensenada will fuel 1.5 million homes.

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But the speeches from the stage contrasted with each other and, above all, symbolized a fragmented government.

The mayor of the place, Mario Secco, an ultra K militant, boasted that they will give energy to the City of Buenos Aires “Who wants everything”. The Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón, seemed unaware of the presence of Alberto Fernández: He only mentioned Sergio Massa. And the president of YPF, Pablo González, who did not even mention Fernández, referred to the current management of YPF, which has achieved production records and strong investments and therefore the different from what happened during the Macri administration.

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Alberto Fernández closed the ceremony and perhaps in his desire to win sympathy invited to a utopia. “Our generation has lived the utopia of democracy forever, and it’s been 40 years. Democracy has allowed Argentina to advance. I propose a new utopia, that of Argentina of equality”.

In this context, the strongest message was that of Marcelo Mindlin, CEO and main shareholder of Pampa who, together with YPF, has expanded this thermal plant, which now uses gases that were previously emitted into the atmosphere and works with the double the capacity and the same amount of energy. Enables import savings of US$350 million. The investment reached 250 million dollars.

Mindlin was directed: “This work was possible because the contracts were respected. All governments have complied with them since 2009. Also because there is a cartel, for example Plan Gas V, which we asked for to be longer for greater predictability and they extended it to 5 years. This is the importance of trust to continue investing”.

The entrepreneur, who bought this thermal power plant together with YPF in 2019, also pointed out that his Pampa Energía group has gone from producing six million cubic meters of gas to 16 million for the incentive plan.

He added: “There is another reality, which is the Vaca Muerta pipeline, the first to be built in 40 years. In the last 12 years the country spent $75 billion importing energy which went to other countries. We had that energy in the tanks. The pipeline will change that story,” she said.

Sacde, the construction company controlled by Pampa, is carrying out the works together with Techint. Mindlin has indicated that it will be ready on the promised date and minimized some delay of a few days at worst.

In a parenthesis with journalists, Mindlin insisted that “it is essential that the rules of the game are followed. Predictability is what keeps you investing. And in the last 14 years, contracts have been signed and respected with various governments”.

In this context, the investment in a fourth wind farm and the first in Bahía Blanca stood out.

However, the businessman stressed that the approval of the hydrocarbon law, on the agenda of the extraordinary sessions of Congress, will be “indispensable” for investments of 30 or 40 years to be made, in obvious reference to the project of a liquefaction natural gas plant that could be built in modules requiring about $800 million each. “If the law isn’t approved, it’s very difficult, because it’s a new business.”

Mindlin assured that It has no interest in the assets of the Italian Enel, owner of Edesur which has put them up for sale.

And when asked about the impact of volatility on the exchange rate and political noise, he blurted out: “The entire energy system runs on the official dollar. The official accompanies inflation and the volatility of free exchange rates does not affect too much “the performance of the business”.

Source: Clarin

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