President Alberto Fernández signed on Monday an agreement with the governor of Río Negro, Arabela Carreras, for the implementation of the free zone in the city of Sierra Grande, which will facilitate, among other things, the development of the green hydrogen plan, key to the transition to cleaner energy.
This measure strengthens the progress of the installation in the province of the green hydrogen plant announced by the Australian company Fortescue last November 1st, during the participation of the Argentine president in the recent world summit against climate change held in Glasgow.
The head of state pointed out that the initiative "is an investment that puts Argentina in a privileged position because we are among a group of countries that are at the forefront in the generation of alternative energies", while he celebrated the "enormous opportunity of development for the province and for the country".
For his part, Carreras highlighted that this is "the most important investment in the last 20 years in the country". "We know that Europe is strongly interested; in the first instance we are thinking about hydrogen for export and when the country's energy matrix is also transformed we want to consume this hydrogen in Argentina", he added.
In this context, the governor highlighted the joint work with the President and the Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, to diagram the course of the project, under the evaluation of the environmental areas of Río Negro.
For Carreras, "the free zone is key" because there will be installed "a large industrial park linked to the generation of hydrogen" for a region "today little developed and historically hit from the economic point of view".
"We understand that it will allow us to balance economically and productively the province," said the president on the production of "a fuel that is taking a leading role on the world stage" and in which Argentina "will be one of the first producers".
"We believe it is an opportunity for the world and work on the mitigation of greenhouse gases, climate change is not an issue that is in the future, but today is very present, we see it on the agenda of all countries," she concluded.
Fortescue plans to invest US$8.4 billion to produce more than 2.2 million tons of green hydrogen annually. The project is expected to generate 15,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs.
Green hydrogen is considered "the fuel of the future" and is generated by electrolysis from renewable energies such as solar and wind, in which Argentina has great potential. It is considered an energy vector, since it stores energy generated by other sources in such a way that it can be later released in already known systems.