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Siemens Mulls $5.6B Energy Investment In Argentina

Germany’s Siemens has plans to create projects worth US$5.6 billion (5 bln euro) in energy generation and infrastructure projects in Argentina, the company’s chief executive said following a visit to the South American country for an investment forum that attracted as many as 2,000 executives from various industries.

Joe Kaeser, Siemens CEO, told media that Siemens had already committed US$3.5 billion (3 bln euro) for the construction of power plants that will have a combined capacity of almost 5 GW of electricity “over time”. Of this, 4 GW will come from gas-fired plants and 600 MW will come from renewable sources. The projects will create 3,000 jobs, Kaeser said.

In addition to the energy projects, Siemens is also interested in transport infrastructure in Argentina, more specifically trains, streetcars, and rail automation projects. The shortage of adequate infrastructure is a serious problem for Argentina, stumping its economic growth.

The Argentina Business and Investment forum is an initiative of the new market-friendly government under President Mauricio Macri. He replaced leftist Cristina Fernandez, and since he came into office, he has been putting a lot of effort into attractive more foreign investment in the country.

Oil and gas and mining are two core focal points for these investors, as Argentina has substantial untapped shale reserves of hydrocarbons and is also part of the so-called Lithium Triangle – the region with the most abundant reserves of the metal.

Exxon and BP, for instance, are among the companies with appetites for the vast Vaca Muerta shale play, with Exxon saying earlier this year it could invest as much as US$10 billion in the development of Vaca Muerta oil and gas over the next two to three decades.

BP’s CEO Bob Dudley, for his part, the other day said the company would much rather invest in the Vaca Muerta than in the Permian because the Argentine play has “enormous potential” and Macri’s administration has facilitated the entry of foreign investors into the local market.

Shell is also present in Argentina, and although it may decide to sell its downstream assets there, the company’s CEO said the upstream operations will not be touched.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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