China inks USD 15 billion nuclear deal with Argentina

Beijing: A Chinese state-owned company will finance and build two nuclear power plants in Argentina, the enterprise said, in a deal estimated to be valued at nearly USD 15 billion.

China National Nuclear Corp will work with Argentina’s state-owned company Nucleoelectrica to build the South American nation’s fourth and fifth reactors, CNNC said yesterday in a statement posted on its website.

The agreement was reached over the weekend at the G20 summit in Turkey.

The Argentine government estimates the project will require USD 15 billion in financing, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said in a statement issued by the country’s Ministry of Planning announcing the deal.

China will provide a portion of the financing for the projects through investment and bank loans at preferential rates, according to the official statement.

One reactor will use Canadian heavy-water technology, while the other will feature China’s locally developed Hualong One reactor, CNNC said.

Chinese state-owned energy companies have been attempting to promote its homegrown nuclear technology and strike energy deals worldwide.

Last month, China vowed to take a one-third stake in Britain’s first nuclear power plant in decades, and will provide $9.1 billion in financing for the project hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a “historic deal”.