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The Kirchner- Cepernic hydroelectric plant is expected to cover the daily electricity consumption of 1.5 million Argentine households.
Argentina and China are combining efforts to complete the Nestor Kirchner and the Jorge Cepernic dams in southern Patagonia. Once the work is completed, the average annual power generation will reach 4.95 billion kilowatt-hours, which means that the Argentinean installed power capacity will grow by approximately 6.5 percent.
The Kirchner- Cepernic hydroelectric plant is expected to cover the daily electricity consumption of 1.5 million Argentine households, cut almost US$1.1 billion in oil and gas import expenses each year, and allow for the export of electricity to Brazil and Paraguay.
Argentine and Chinese staff have faced numerous challenges. Both dams are being built in the world’s southernmost part, where the climate is a challenge. Due to the characteristics of the terrain, for example, winds can reach gusts of over 100 kilometers per hour.
When the temperature drops extremely, construction tasks also become very difficult. Workers often have to face harsh environmental conditions since the plant is located about 100 kilometers from the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Visitamos en Santa Cruz la impresionante construcción de la represa Jorge Cepernic.
Junto a la otra represa Néstor Kirchner, son consideradas como la obra de generación hidroeléctrica más grande del país, se estima que aumentarán en un 15% la generación hidroeléctrica del país. pic.twitter.com/JYvjjW48TS
The tweet reads, "We visited in Santa Cruz the impressive construction of the Jorge Cepernic dam. Together with the other Nestor Kirchner dam, they are considered the largest hydroelectric generation project in the country. It is estimated that the country's hydroelectric generation will increase by 15 percent."
"To prevent the project from affecting the Perito Moreno Glacier, in the area of the water source, the storage height of the reservoir was reduced by 2.4 meters from the original plan,” said Zhang Hongzeng, deputy director of the Project Design Management Department.
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers complied with isolation measures and tests were carried out, while communication was maintained with local medical institutions on the donation of hygiene supplies and exchange of experiences in prevention and epidemiological control.
So far, the project has brought very important and tangible changes in the Patagonian region, among which are the creation of jobs and the construction of roads for local communities.