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Argentina wants China to fully fund $8.3 billion nuclear plant amid cash shortfall -Breaking


By Eliana Raszewski

LIMA (Argentina) – Argentina has asked China to finance a $8.3billion nuclear plant. This is as Argentina struggles with its high debt and seeks to reduce its fiscal deficit under a deal it made with the International Monetary Fund.

South America signed an agreement in February with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of a new nuclear power plant. CNNC said at the time that it would finance 85% and Argentina the remaining cost.

However, the country now has a more difficult fiscal outlook. According to a recent $44billion IMF program, the country needs to achieve fiscal balance by 2025. It had a deficit of just 3% in 2017 and must now reach that level.

Jorge Sidelnik is the executive director of Nucleoelectrica Argentina. He stated, “We aim for 100% in terms financing from China so that we can guarantee no delays due to the problems with funding.”

Three of the country’s nuclear power plants are currently operated by Argentina. Atucha III will be constructed on the same site of 50 hectares (123.5 acres), as Atucha I, Atucha II, and Atucha II, located near Lima, Buenos Aires.

Sidelnik explained that construction of the new facility will take 99 months. This will enable Argentina to raise its nuclear percentage by 8% over the next few years. It is currently at 4%.

Atucha I is the original nuclear power station in Latin America. Atucha II has 745 megawatts. Embalse, Cordoba, 656 megawatts.

It would be 1,200 more megawatts and employ approximately 7,000 workers. The plant will also require 700 employees for its operation.

Sidelnik indicated that they hoped to sign the final agreement in 2022 once all nine conditions had been met. This includes financing and an environmental impact assessment. A public hearing has also taken place.

Sidelnik stated that the input reactor will last for 60 years and projections show it to be able to sustain 80 years. This makes Sidelnik’s business a long-term investment.

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