by Staff Writers
Buenos Aires, Argentina (AFP) Aug 21, 2013
The construction of two hydroelectric dams in Argentina's Patagonia region has been awarded to a consortium of domestic and Chinese companies, President Cristina Kirchner announced Wednesday.
Local Electroingenieria e Hidrocuyo and China-based Gezhouba Group Company Limited secured the deal, Kirchner said.
Those losing out include Alstom (France)- Odebrecht (Brazil), Isolux (Spain), Sinohydro (China) and Hyundai (South Korea).
The dams, to be built on the Santa Cruz river, will have a production capacity of 1.740 megawatts, or 4.7 percent of national electric production.
Kirchner said the new construction would mean that the Santa Cruz river would have the second largest dam after Yacyreta, a dam located on the Parana river and jointly administered by Argentina and Paraguay.
Argentina relies heavily on the Yacyreta dam, which covers 22 percent of the country's electricity needs.
The Santa Cruz river, which extends some 385 kilometers (240 miles), originates in the Andes and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Argentine officials say construction, which will begin in December, will take five years and create 5,000 jobs.
The two new dams will be named after former governors of Santa Cruz state -- Jorge Cepernic and Nestor Kirchner, who was president from 2003 and 2007.
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