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Five return to the State and the next Government will define the future of another 17

Five return to the State and the next Government will define the future of another 17

Two months after the end of the concessions that lasted for 30 years, the Secretary of Energy, headed by Flavia Royón, made official that the operation of five hydroelectric plants will return to the State after the privatization of the nineties.

As Ámbito was able to find out, the power stations will become “temporarily” operated by Energía Argentina (formerly Enarsa). But what the Government will seek is to create a new state company for management, with the aim of establishing a fund between the State and the provinces to develop new power plants, although operation and maintenance could be tendered and managed by a private .

At the moment, the definitions of the Ministry of Economy have an impact on four companies that manage five hydroelectric plants, of which three They expire on August 11after 30 years of private management, and a December 29. Ámbito consulted what will happen to the concessions that begin to expire next year: in June 2024 there are 3, in July 1 and in October 2. “It will remain for the next Government,” replied a senior source from the Ministry of Energy, before the imminence of the presidential elections in October.

When asked why it was decided to move forward with the end of the concessions, near Royón they assured: “In 30 years of private management there were no major hydroelectric projects, and Argentina needs more hydroelectric plants.”

For this reason, in Economy they anticipated that Enarsa will take control “temporarily” of the dams. But then they will ask its owner, Agustín Gerez, to form a new state company for management, in which the provinces have a share. They will look for it to exist a fund in which the Nation and Provinces contribute to build new, with a percentage of the remuneration for the service. “They give utility”, they affirmed from Energía. Anyway, the operation and maintenance part will seek to tender it and that it be in charge of the private sectoras this newspaper learned.

Another of the reasons has to do with the energy transition, and this was expressed in the letter from Royón to Gerez. “The importance of hydraulic generation in the energy transition is fundamental, because it is one of the most reliable, flexible, and rapid-response renewable energy sources in the face of demand fluctuations and, particularly for these plants that have already exceeded the limits of the amortization terms of the large initial investments, the ones with the lowest cost in the system”, he says.

The concessions that pass into the hands of Enarsa are: Alicurá, from AES Alicurá SA; El Chocón, from ENEL Generación; Planicie and Banderita, from Orazul Energy; and Piedra del Águila, from Central Puerto. The latter is the only one that ends in December, the others in August. these dams They are the first five of a total of 22 hydroelectric complexes that will expire.

Controversies with companies are not ruled out. For example, in the case of El Chocón, it was the only project of the Italian Enel that it was interested in keeping despite withdrawing from all business in Argentina. The company, which was at the center of the scene for the management of the distributor Edesur, was interested in keeping El Chocón because they seek to focus worldwide on renewable energies. They had requested a year’s grace in management, a clause that, they say, was in the contract.

The dispute with the private sector will not be the only front. The province of Neuquén rejected the measure and anticipated that it will prosecute it as “unconstitutional”. In the government of Río Negro they requested a meeting to move forward with an “understanding”. From Economy they assured that, although the resources are provincial (water), the return of the concessions must be restored to the State. “The noise is due to remuneration,” official sources explained.

The letter from Energía textually requests Enarsa to “adopt the necessary measures to be in a position to temporarily assume the activity of electric power generation in view of the proximity of the expiration of the concessions and from the date thereof, including, without limitation, the eventual transfer of personnel and contracts related to said plants”.

Source: Ambito

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