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Argentina has signed a $444 million contract with Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group to renovate its Embalse Río Tercero nuclear plant.
The SNC-Lavalin Group is Canada's top engineering firm. The Embalse Río Tercero nuclear power plant is one of two NPPs in Argentina. The contracts were signed by the government’s state-owned Nucleoelectrica Argentina, and Candu Energy Inc., a SNC-Lavalin subsidiary.
The agreement provides for the transfer of Canadian technology and assistance in developing Argentina’s manufacturing of nuclear reactor components, Mercopress news agency reported.
Under terms of the agreement, the SNC-Lavalin Group refurbishment will extend the life of the Embalse Río Tercero NPP by three decades. The Embalse Río Tercero NPP, in Cordoba province, came online twenty-seven years ago and currently has a production capacity of 648 megawatts.
Only Argentina, Brazil and Mexico among Latin American countries operate nuclear energy plants, and despite rising international concern after Japan’s March debacle at Fukushima, Argentina is pressing forward with plans to build new NPPs to ease the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
According to a government statement, the renovation of the Embalse Río Tercero NPP will be completed by 2016, although the refurbishment project will require taking the Embalse Río Tercero NPP offline for roughly 20 months, beginning in November 2013.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com