Australian firm pledges USD 8 Billion for green hydrogen development in Argentina
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The Argentine Government has reached an understanding with a leading Australian firm to move forward with local production of clean energy. President Alberto Fernández made the announcement Monday from Glasgow, where he is attending the UN COP26 Climate Summit.
Fernández met in Scotland with businessmen from the Australian firm Fortescue, who pledged to invest over US $ 8 billion to produce green hydrogen.
During the meeting, Fernández was joined by Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, Secretary for International Economic Relations Cecilia Todesco, and Kulfas’ adviser Marcelo Kloster.
The company was represented by Andrew Forrest (President), Julie Shuttleworth (CEO), Agustín Pichot (President for Latin America), Todd Clewett (Senior Global Manager) and Sebastián Delgui (Regional Manager of Government and Communities for Latin America).
Fernández had already held a meeting via videoconference in Nov. 2020 with representatives of Fortescue Metals Group, who had expressed their interest in investing in Argentina in the generation of renewable energy and the production of minerals. within the framework of what they call green industry.
Fortescue has already begun prospecting in the province of Río Negro with a view to the production of green hydrogen at an industrial scale, which will require an investment of US $ 8.4 billion and will create over 15,000 direct jobs and between 40,000 and 50,000 indirect sources of income, it was reported.
The development is expected to turn Río Negro into a global green hydrogen export pole by 2030, with a production capacity of 2.2 million tons per year, tantamount to almost 10% of the electricity consumed by Germany in one year.
Fernández said, “Argentina has a great opportunity ahead and it needs companies like this, that invest and generate work.” The President also highlighted “green hydrogen is one of the fuels of the future and it fills us with pride that Argentina is one of the countries that are at the forefront of the ecological transition.”
“Our country will shortly be able to become one of the world suppliers of this fuel that will allow to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the world,” Fernández went on.
The head of state also praised ”the social responsibility of the company to build with the best values of the communities,“ and particularly of former international rugbier Agustín Pichot.
”We are ready to invest in Argentina, we are a cutting-edge energy company that hires people and we train people, and that is what we want to do in your country. We are here so that Argentina is a world leader in renewable energy and to be an exporter,” Fortescue’s Forrest said.
The project will be developed around the city of Sierra Grande, which has a history of iron ore production. The first productive stage, with an estimated investment of US $ 7.2 billion, will produce some 215,000 tons of green hydrogen, which would cover the electricity consumption of 1.6 million homes, and will run until 2028.
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