4 November 2022

From the province of Río Negro, Governor Arabela Carreras, together with the Minister of Economy of the Nation, Sergio Massa, announced the December bidding for the mega-job of high voltage electrical interconnection for Bariloche, Dina Huapi, Mascardi and Villa La Angostura (ALIPIBA II). In addition, it was confirmed that next week the project to have a Hydrogen Law in Argentina will be submitted to Congress.

It is a second power supply (132 Kv) line extending through 137 km that will link Villa La Angostura with the National Interconnected System. This line will alleviate the energy demand and will reinforce Bariloche’s supply.

The announcement was made at INVAP’s headquarters, where the authorities toured the site to learn about the different projects that the state-owned company is carrying out. The tour included the Atomic Center as well.

The works will require an investment of U$S 75,800,000, through an international loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with an estimated term of 4 years.

Governor Carreras pointed out that “this work is a historical recognition for Neuquén and Río Negro because we are producers of hydroelectric energy for the whole country but we have many localities that are not connected to the system. Therefore, this is like a return to the effort we are making with the contribution of our water resources.”

In addition, the Governor reaffirmed the importance of helping to mitigate the effects of climate change: “From Patagonia we are looking for alternatives that may be a solution for the energy transition the world needs.”

She also thanked “the senators and representatives for their efforts in taking our issues into their agendas and managing to include them in the national budgets.”

Minister Massa emphasized that “for Bariloche this work will mean the possibility of creating 24,000 more homes and doubling the capacity of its industrial park; and for Villa La Angostura, to stop using forced energy, to stop burning fuel, and to achieve stability in economic projects, city planning and projection towards the future.”

He also highlighted the role of INVAP and the Atomic Center: “Nuclear energy, technology and applied intelligence, together with energy capacity, can change our future as a Nation,” he said.

Massa took advantage of this visit to Río Negro to confirm that next week he will send to Congress the Hydrogen Law project: “This law will allow giving stability to hydrogen investments for the next thirty years, which will help us to add value to the energy system, to generate jobs and investments, and to change the economic and productive matrix of many of our provinces.”

For her part, the National Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón, said that “when we decided to update the value of the works of the Federal Plan III, we established certain criteria related to the social and productive impact, the substitution of fossil fuels, the potential future growth and the savings that could be obtained; and this work was the first in the list; it will benefit 160,000 inhabitants, and will enable Villa La Angostura to substitute its forced generation and Bariloche to gain in quality and quantity of energy.”

For the Governor of Neuquén, Omar Gutiérrez, “it is a day we dreamed of some years ago, when I was Minister of Economy of Neuquén; at that time, we were working with Alberto (Weretilneck) first and Arabela (Carreras) later to carry out this task, which would allow us to boost a great economic and social development. It is a very large, complex and difficult task, that will take four years to complete, but it will allow the growth and development of Bariloche, and for Villa La Angostura it will be historic.”

The mega-work
The construction of the second 132 kV High Voltage Line (HVL) from Alicurá to the mountain range area is a commitment assumed by both provinces, which worked in a coordinated manner to incorporate Villa La Angostura to the national interconnected system and provide sustainable electric energy, in sufficient quantity and quality, to Bariloche from a second point, through the Argentine Interconnection System (SADI in Spanish).

This is a key undertaking for Bariloche, since the use of diesel generation groups to confront power peaks or as backup for the system will be abandoned, at the same time that the system response capacity will be increased and improved as far as its quality and reliability are concerned.
Villa La Angostura will no longer depend on electrothermal generation, with the environmental benefits derived from abandoning the burning of fossil fuels in this process. Within the territory of Río Negro, the supply of energy to the municipality of Dina Huapi via the Dina Huapi Transformer Station is contemplated in a later stage of the project, in order to respond to the population growth the town had in the last years.

The ceremony was attended by the Bariloche Mayor, Gustavo Gennuso; the National Senator Alberto Weretilneck; the Representatives Luis Di Giácomo and Tanya Bertoldi; the National Undersecretary of Electric Energy, Santiago Yanotti; the Secretary of Energy of Río Negro, Andrea Confini; the Chairman of INVAP Board of Directors, Hugo Albani; INVAP General Manager, Vicente Campenni, and other national, provincial and municipal authorities.