Industrial groups enter Argentina's wind market

ARGENTINA: Two of the country's largest industrial groups are planning major investments in wind energy in order to comply with a new legal requirement for companies to source a growing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources.

Argentina is targeting 8% of the country’s electricity to come from renewable sources from 2017

State oil firm Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales (YFP) and aluminium producer Aluminio Argentino SIAC (Aluar) will invest a total of $600 million in wind capacity in the southern province of Chubut to help power their factories.

Aluar will spend US$400 million on a 200MW wind farm in an area between the port of Puerto Madryn, where the company operates the country's only aluminium smelter, and Trelew.

Meanwhile, YPF, which the state expropriated from Spanish oil firm Repsol in 2012, plans to spend $200 million on a 100MW project at its Manantiales Bher oil field, 40km northeast of Comodoro Rivadavia.

The project, consisting of 30 turbines, will power the oil firm's operations in the Gulf of San Jorge, while the excess will be sold on Argentina's national power grid.

The new law, approved by Congress last September, requires 8% of the country's electricity to come from renewable sources from end-2017.