Chinese delegation set to revive stalled Argentina nuclear power plant talks

  • Technical team expected to go to Latin American country to discuss project reportedly worth up to US$8 billion
Argentina had hoped to announce an agreement on China-financed construction of Atucha III during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping after November’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Image: Handout
Argentina had hoped to announce an agreement on China-financed construction of Atucha III during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping after November’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Image: Handout

A delegation from China will visit Argentina this month to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant, signalling possible progress in a deal that could increase Beijing’s deepening influence in the South American nation.

An Argentinian government source told Reuters this week the “technical team” from China would meet local suppliers about the long-stalled nuclear power plant project, reportedly worth up to US$8 billion.

Argentina had hoped to announce an agreement on China-financed construction of Atucha III, as it has been referred to in the past, during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping after November’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

But the deal failed to emerge then, and in January Argentina’s nuclear energy undersecretary, Julian Gadano, and the ambassador to China, Diego Guelar, met officials in Beijing for talks about the project, the government source said.

Argentina seeks new currency swap deal with China as Beijing pursues closer ties in Latin America

A second government source, in the foreign ministry, said talks about the nuclear plant with China were ongoing but added that there had been no “concrete progress” towards signing a deal.

If finalised, the nuclear plant would be one of the biggest projects financed in Argentina by China, which has become a key trading partner for the South American country and its biggest non-institutional lender.

Source: SCMP

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