A Chinese loan will enable Argentina to develop Latin America’s biggest-ever wind power project.
China Development Bank Corp. has offered $3 billion to Generadora Eolica Argentina del Sur SA (Geassa) for a 1,350-megawatt installation of Chinese wind turbines.
The wind farm will cover 111,200 acres in the Chubut province.
Since Europe and the U.S. continue to reel from the financial crisis, China has emerged as a highly attractive financing option for developing countries.
Argentina has the burden of being blocked from international bond markets since 2001 and 2002, when it defaulted on $95 billion in debt. But the nation found China was willing to lend at 6.25 percent for a 12-year term.
The project will be built by the Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which will own 25 percent of the finished wind farm. An additional 25 percent will go to the unnamed turbine supplier.
Once finished, with a deadline set for 2017, this wind farm will provide 4 percent of Argentina’s power needs.
The development is situated 400 kilometers, or roughly 248 miles, from the nearest port. Eduardo Restuccia, executive vice president of Geassa, said a city will pop up as the project gets underway, an additional job creator for the growing nation.