Argentina difficult balance between nuclear giants

Argentina difficult balance between nuclear giants

The mayor of Zárate, Osvaldo Cáffaro, organized a public forum on nuclear energy to discuss a new plan that takes up the agreements signed during the Kirchnerism that Macri interrupted because of the Trump veto.

The event invited scientists, experts, former public officials, and all the districts that have some activity linked to this type of energy, such as Formosa, Reservoir, Bariloche, Ezeiza, and San Antonio de Areco.

The program discussed the situation status of the Argentine Nuclear Plan, the training of human resources, and the connection with science, technology, and the national industry. But the real axis will be the relaunching of the nuclear plant of the eventual Peronist Government, a strong message towards Alberto Fernández.

Macri stopped the three nuclear power plants planned with China and Russia at the express request of Trump, who does not accept in any way such interference from Beijing and Moscow in the continent.

Now, Alberto Fernández will have the difficult mission of restoring ties with these countries in sectors considered strategic for the United States, without hurting the relations with the White House. It is that although the Peronist candidate is playing the Chinese card to achieve better conditions in the renegotiation with the IMF, his intention is not to openly confront Washington.

The announcement of the construction of Atucha III with a Chinese investment was practically signed. Still, Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie justified the suspension of the Asian power plant for budgetary reasons. However, the budget argument is unfounded because the Chinese and the Russians offered an accessible financing plan that would only begin to be paid when the plants were operational and allowed for import savings or an increase in exportable energy balances.

As a counterpart, Trump offered a line of credits that is presumed could reach 800 million dollars, to invest in infrastructure. Through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), it is proposed to finance wind and solar parks, the Neuquén-Rosario gas pipeline and the PPP of Route 7, in exchange for allowing the entry of North American construction companies.

Amid the difficult mission of mediating the hegemonic dispute between the USA and China, the Government accepted the veto and restricted the negotiation to increase trade. The fact that Macri contradicted Trump by stating that China does not constitute a threat is a classic game of balance that was forced to perform his administration.

The bilateral meeting with Russia showed a cold treatment on the part of the Argentine delegation that constantly relativized the numerous announcements of an enthusiastic Vladimir Putin and even came to contradict it publicly.

The Russian interest in the Argentine nuclear market originates from Putin’s previous visit in July 2014, where he had signed two critical projects with Cristina Kirchner for almost 10 billion dollars: the sixth nuclear power plant and the Chihuido hydroelectric dam. The third important project was the port of Ramallo, an investment of 500 million dollars that Russia intended to deliver years ago and that the Province of Buenos Aires has put constant obstacles in the process of buying the necessary land. Given the difficulty of negotiations with the European Union, Argentine is looking now to Russia with Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. That is why, for the first time, the Argentinean Government considered the possibility of carrying out the work in the south of Santa Fe and no longer in Vidal territory.

The original articles can be found here: 1 2 3 4

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.