The Governor of the Province of Río Negro, Alberto Weretilneck, took part in the official ceremony carried out on August 11 to inaugurate the Technological Park in the city of Cutral Co, Province of Neuquén. On the occasion, he remarked that to promote wind energy generation was a real challenge.
Mr. Weretilneck was accompanied by the Vice-governor of our neighboring province, Ana Pechen —in charge of the Executive—, and the local Mayor, Ramón Rioseco. The Secretary of Energy of the Province of Río Negro, Guillermo Gesualdo, was also present.
In this context, the General Manager and CEO of INVAP S.E. (Argentine state-owned applied research company), Héctor Otheguy, and Mayor Rioseco signed a specific agreement on the manufacture and commercialization of low and medium power wind turbines, among other purposes.
The agreement establishes that the local government will grant INVAP the use and enjoyment of the civil engineering infrastructure located at the Technological Park, as well as of the needed machines, tools and other special equipment, with no charge whatsoever. On its part, INVAP S.E. commits to install its own machines, tools and equipment on that infrastructure, also with no charge.
In the written contract, both parties affirmed their intention of doing their best so that the plant becomes operational within 90 days.
During his speech, the Governor of Río Negro thanked for being invited and stated that “it is a great pride to share this achievement with the community… It is a pleasure for us, residents of Río Negro, to share with a strong federal feeling this achievement, another concrete event reflecting the integration between the two provinces, that are united with bonds of brotherhood. It is always good to appreciate what belongs to us,” he remarked.
Likewise, he highlighted the “clear vision” of the Mayor of Cutral Co, manifested not only in the creation of the park but also in its potential contribution to the development of wind energy and other renewable sources. “When talking today in Argentina about energy self-sufficiency, or about the 10,000 or 11,000 million dollars expended in imported energy for home use and for our industries and companies, we must not forget that to think about a renewable product factory three or four years ago was something only a visionary leader could have done,” he maintained.
Mr. Weretilneck expressed his gratitude to Rioseco for enabling the implementation of the project together with INVAP since “this is what eventually will happen, not only in the Patagonia region, but also in the world at large. Just as we, Argentinians, were pioneers in hydraulic energy through the building of dams and later reinvented other energy sources, I believe this is our future,” he pointed out.
In relation to the energy industry growth in Río Negro, the Governor reminded that the province has recently approved the creation of a company formed by INVAP and Transcomahue with the aim of launching the wind park project at Cerro Policía, which will allow it to get into the energy domestic market with its wind energy.
He remarked that the main objective of these works and projects is the welfare of the people, and added that “this is another achievement benefitting the State now that it is strongly criticized and deemed unable of solving everyday issues and of thinking big.”
“A municipal government that worries about job creation and about energy sources, a state-owned company such as INVAP, whose work ranges from conceiving projects such as this to launching the first Argentine telecommunication satellite in October, and a national administration that provides us with financial support, prove that there are no small or large projects, or projects that separate provinces from the nation, and town councils from provinces. In the end, we are all joined by the wish that people may have the best possible quality of life,” he concluded.
The Vice-governor of the Province of Neuquén in charge of the Executive, Ana Pechen, pointed out the relevance of the initiative. “It means to value the technology developed by many Argentinians through INVAP and apply it here, in Neuquén,” she said.
“Technology has broadened the knowledge of many Argentine researchers and specialists, and we are working to make it come true so as to offer new jobs in a place that, some time ago, was abandoned and devastated but today is overcoming all this by looking into the future. It has put its hopes on knowledge to meet the new challenges and commitments,” she pointed out.
Besides, she highlighted the importance of wind energy generation and hydroelectric energy in the province: “These alternative energies are essential for us to reach a compromise between the environment conservation cause and the exploitation of new energy sources, of which the Patagonia region undoubtedly has substantial reserves.”
Finally, the Mayor Rioseco mentioned that the signing of this agreement is part of a strategic project whose main objective is restructuring the sustainable production of renewable energy sources, and that “this is the beginning.”
He also revealed that the aim is to have two more factories in operation within two years. “We want to provide new value added to science and technological innovation, as well as to universities,” he proclaimed.
Otheguy: “A patriotic act for the good of our country”
In his turn, the General Manager and CEO of INVAP, Héctor Otheguy, said that “It is a great pride to be present at this patriotic act for the good of our country in which a company of the Province of Río Negro and the town council of a neighboring province, both located in the Patagonia region, have joined forces, with great support of the national government.”
He said that the signing of the agreement is a new step in a collaboration which began more than three years ago, with a framework agreement that established the need of mutual cooperation between INVAP, as technology provider, and the municipal government, as investor.
He also announced that there are two other joint projects. One is a micro-melting plant that will be in operation next year, and the other the manufacture of forty-meter-long loading shovels for high-powered equipment. The latter will be funded by the national government and carried out by the local government together with the National University of La Plata and a private company.
He added that the idea is that the project is carried out through a public and private partnership in the Pilcaniyeu area during a period of three years; the goal is to move it to Cutral Co once the development stage is finished.
“INVAP is very glad to be able to tap new sources of employment, since this is part of its social purpose.” He underlined the significant developments taking place in the satellite and radar fields, and reminded the audience that the company has already installed radar networks for air traffic control all over the country.
In his turn, the National Under Secretary of Electric Power, Pablo Farina, stated that “the Patagonia is a synonym of energy, and we are very pleased to be here with the protagonists of this new stage in wind energy generation, which is a strategic resource we want to support.”
“We feel we are laying a cornerstone, since the new factory that is being set up today will enable us, together with the Argentinians’ work, to take advantage of the emerging technologies and to be the protagonists in the new realities,” he concluded.
The ceremony was also attended by Nancy Parrilli and Alberto Ciampini, National Deputies for the Province of Neuquén, and Gabriel Gastaminza, Minister of Cabinet Coordination, Public Safety and Labor of the latter, as well as the Mayors of Cutral Co and of the neighboring cities, and representatives from different private firms.
Visit to Dioramas Room
After touring the facilities of the new technological park, the delegation visited Dioramas Room, located in 262 Carlos H. Rodríguez Street.
It is the first exhibition in the country aimed at bringing a historic event or a particular landscape closer to the spectator through a tridimensional representation that includes artistic painting, sculpture and technology.