On May 28th, 2019, the Embassy organized the First Annual Conference on Project Finance in Argentina, in collaboration with the “Club de la República”, Clifford Chance, Bruchou law firm and the Council of the Americas, on project finance investment opportunities in the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors.
The Conference gathered over 90 attendees –among them officials from the Department of Energy, Department of State, OPIC, Exim Bank, private and investment banks and oil & gas companies- and allowed showcasing ongoing investment projects and opportunities in Argentina among investors, financial sector, American companies, officials from multilateral development banks and from the U.S. Government. Also, gave a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from keynote speakers from the private sector- like YPF Luz, Banco Galicia, Astris Finance and Goldman Sachs- and from IFC, IDB Invest, BICE (Argentine bank of investment and foreign trade) talk about successful investment opportunities in Argenitna.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Fernando Oris de Roa noted that “Argentina offers opportunities that arouse enormous interest in investors: in a world where energy demand is growing exponentially our country has abundant reserves of minerals and optimal conditions for the development of renewable energy, such as wind and solar; not to mention that it ranks second in reserve of shale gas and fourth of shale oil, worldwide”.
Regarding renewable energies opportunities, the Government launched in 2016 the RenovAr energy auction Program –series of tenders on solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy to procure additional renewable energy and grid capacity aimed at achieving a 20% renewables share by 2025 (goal established by Law 27,191). This public policy on renewable energies allowed the adjudication of over 100 projects (in different stage of execution) and 34 already in commercial operation, representing investments for US$7 billion and 9,300 new jobs; and it implies clear investment opportunities of US$ 15 billion over the next 8 years.
Among the strategic sectors is oil & gas, which leads the ranking of investment announcements since President Macri took office. Argentina has achieved a real revolution in the unconventional energy sector by lowering Vaca Muerta’s drilling costs in half.
The Embassy works hand in hand with the Energy Secretariat to attract investments to Vaca Muerta, contributing to the transformation of Argentina into a world class energy supplier. The development of the oil & gas industry, a high value added industry with spillover effects on the overall economy, will foster energy exports and economic and social development.
In terms of Infrastructure, the government has an ambitious national plan to improve connectivity and infrastructure throughout the country; improving the structural competitiveness of sectors such as agro-industrial, mining, energy and construction.
The Embassy has been working actively with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation/U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, who will be doubling its lending offer from US$30 billion to US$ 60 billion. After reopening its operations in Argentina in 2017, OPIC has recently approved its first investment in seven years. A US$45 million credit to Plaza Logística S.R.L. to support the expansion of critical logistics infrastructure in Argentina. The agency has other 12 investment projects under analysis that would involve financing for US$ 2,000 million, for a total investment of US $ 8,000 million.
This first annual conference on project finance in Argentina is another example of the efforts undertaken by this Embassy to promote our country as a destination for investments and project financing, among key players in the Washington DC area.