BUENOS AIRES – The governments of Argentina and China on Sunday signed several agreements to build the South American country’s fourth and fifth nuclear power plants for an investment of $14 billion, government officials said.
The pacts were inked within the framework of the G20 summit taking place in the Turkish seaside resort of Antalya, the Argentine President’s Office said on its Web page.
The fourth nuclear center will have a heavy water reactor and will be established in the city of Lima, in Buenos Aires province, where the Atucha atomic complex is already operating.
The fifth facility, which will be built at a yet-to-be-determined site, will operate with enriched uranium and light water.
China will finance 85 percent of the construction costs of both plants.
The agreements were signed by the president of Nucleoelectrica Argentina, Jose Luis Antunez, and the head of China’s CNNC nuclear firm, Quian Zhimin, in the presence of officials from both countries.
“These contracts ... are going to ensure our energy supply in the future,” said Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof after the signing ceremony, according to remarks quoted on the Web page.
Meanwhile, Argentina’s federal planning minister, Julio de Vido, emphasized that the signing of the pacts is “a basic step in diversifying the energy matrix, increasing the participation of the nuclear sector.”
Under the presidency of Cristina Fernandez, Argentina and China have signed numerous accords for energy infrastructure investment, both to build nuclear centers and hydroelectric dams as well as transportation infrastructure, including revamping the equipment and infrastructure of Belgrano Cargas, the country’s main cargo railway.