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U.S. company claims IMF agreement facilitated green hydrogen investment in Tierra del Fuego

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    The US$ 500 million investment project to produce green hydrogen in Tierra del Fuego by MMEX Resources Corporation was boosted after the agreement reached by the country with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said an executive of the U.S. company. The project "was possible before, but the agreement with the IMF facilitated it" since it enables "all multilateral banks to be open to finance this type of projects in Argentina," said Nabil Katabi, project finance manager of MMEX Resources, in an interview with Bloomberg news agency. "It's not an easy country. You used to talk to some U.S. banker and he would say 'what are they going to do there'. But Tierra del Fuego is a special zone, a free zone, with many tax incentives, which makes the project much easier", said Katabi and pointed out that, as it is an initiative exclusively "aimed at exports", the "commercial risk does not belong to Argentina but to the multinational". When asked about inflation, Katabi stressed that "it does not have a major impact on the product itself" and that, in any case, the global inflation affecting the "wind tower industry" has a greater influence. For his part, the MMEX executive agreed with the creation of a Hydrogen Law in the country to provide a regulatory framework for the development of the industry. "I understand that the Law is about to be announced. If it will finally come out I do not know, but it is positive and necessary that they do it," he said. The importance of the creation of such regulations was also underlined in the middle of this month by Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) at the last Green Hydrogen Global Assembly and Exhibition in Barcelona. Fortescue is another of the firms that will aim to produce green hydrogen in the country, with an investment in Rio Negro totaling US$ 8.3 billion. For Katabi, the announcement of more investments in the country "is better" and does not represent a "competition" since it is "a world market that is being born and that is going to be gigantic". He also valued that Argentina "has the commitment to move towards the energy transition" and stressed that the country "has the resources" to do so. "The most important thing is that Argentina has colossal resources, as well as in Vaca Muerta, and it has to develop both sectors, it is not one or the other," he said. MMEX's announcement plans to produce green hydrogen in the town of Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego with an expected investment of US$ 500 million and the goal of generating between US$ 120 and US$ 190 million in exports per year from its entry into operation in 2025. Specifically, the company will build - based on a technological agreement with Siemens Energy- a wind farm of up to 300 megawatts (MW) that will demand 60% of the investment and an electrolysis plant that will allow obtaining "more than 55 tons of green hydrogen per day", according to Katabi. In addition, the initiative would create 1,500 jobs during the construction of the plant and up to 300 permanent skilled jobs when it starts operations, according to estimates made by the company. "After the announcement, an analysis of the Fuegian wind will begin, the subsequent construction of the wind farm and from there the company will start looking for financing", he assured. The project is essentially destined for export due to the demand for the input by "large European, some American and many Asian energy companies" which "are looking for this product as they have incentives from their governments to obtain it and improve the clean matrix of their countries", Katabi explained. (Télam)


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