China helps Argentina with wind energy: Arauco Wind Farm was built in 2012 with 12 wind turbines

Arauco Wind Farm, showcase of the Sino-Argentinean wind power development endeavor, falls under jurisdiction of northern Argentina’s La Rioja province, home to 40 percent of the South American country’s olive-growing industry. Located in the Puerta de Arauco Valley, Arauco Wind Farm was built in 2012 with 12 wind turbines capable of generating 25 megawatts of power, along with a transformer station. The wind farm was added with an extra installed capacity of 25 megawatts in 2013.

In March, La Rioja and Chinese company Hydrochina International Engineering Co. signed a deal worth of more than 300 million U.S. dollars to raise Arauco Wind Farm’s installed capacity by 104 more megawatts.

La Rioja “has as a strategic objective to move forward in what we are good at, ‘energy sovereignty’, to supply our citizens with the energy they need,” said Javier Tineo, the regional official in charge of Economic Production and Development, in an interview with Xinhua.

Tineo said they hoped the wind farm would be able to generate more electricity to pump water and expand irrigated area in the agriculturally important province on completion of the expansion program with the help of the Chinese company.

By increasing output at the wind farm, “we will make the province self-sufficient and give the surplus to the national power grid,” said Tineo. He stressed Chinese company’s contribution is the key to the next stage of development at the wind farm.

“The province’s government began looking for financial and technological partners. We met with one of the most important Chinese companies (Hydrochina) and came to an agreement,” recalled Tineo, who praised Yang Wanming, Chinese ambassador to Argentina, for his role in helping make the cooperation program a reality, saying the wind farm “involves friendship and cooperation from both the Chinese and Argentinean governments.” According to Tineo, there is “high expectation” in Argentina that increased trade and cooperation with China will “contribute to our food production, our job creation, our conditions for producing both wind and solar energy.”

“We expect to make progress with Chinese companies and the Chinese government, because we need their expertise, industry and development in the (energy) field, and their ability to develop machinery and equipment to improve our primary productivity and food industry,” said Tineo, the local official from La Rioja.