Posted on October 05, 2018

Argentina is exploring a possible partnership with Qatar in financing some large renewable energy projects in Argentina, according to Argentina's ambassador Carlos Hernandez.

“Our country is the new star in this sector in Latin America since we are pursuing to highly increase the participation of this sort of clean energy in our grid,” the envoy said. He was speaking ahead of the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Argentina, which is expected to further strengthen the relations between Qatar and Argentina on various fronts.

Citing that several countries have invested in these projects in the last two years, Hernandez noted that Argentina will soon host the largest solar energy facility in Latin America. “We are also interested in wind and hydro (energy) apart from others,” he stressed, noting that the two countries have started discussing on the prospects of Qatar’s participation in renewable and mining sectors of Argentina.

Besides renewable energy, Hernandez said Argentina is also exploring Qatari interest in the mining sector. “We understand Qatar is not keen to invest in greenfield projects but there are other ones where they can invest,” he added. “We have relevant reserves of gold and copper, but also some nowadays strategic and scarce resources in the world like lithium which has a high value in the international market and cobalt which has it several times more,” the envoy noted. “You wouldn’t find these last two very easy in the world and our reserves look to be like very relevant.”

Hernandez also highlighted Qatar’s investments in Argentina, which are mainly related to the shale oil deposit of Vaca Muerta. “Vaca Muerta has room for everyone who is interested in investing. The reserves are more than relevant, one of the most recent and largest worldwide,” he stressed.

Qatar Petroleum made a huge investment this year related to the exploring on unconventional hydrocarbons by acquiring 30% stake in ExxonMobil Argentina, a company with licences to explore the reserves. “But there are also other possibilities of co-operation and investment in this field since we are pursuing to double our oil and gas production in five years time and also trying to expand the LNG terminal,” Hernandez said. He added that Qatar Investment Authority also owns a 12% stake of Adeco-Agro, an agro-industrial company with a large variety of products owning 435 hectares in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. 

The envoy disclosed that agreement on the promotion and protection of investments, and a double taxation avoidance will be ratified soon, Hernandez said. “Simply some internal political circumstances did not allow its consideration by the National Congress, which is the institution to give the green light. I am confident we will achieve it very soon,” he said.

source: Gulf Times