Enel is making rapid progress in the process of divesting its assets in Argentina in the face of growing pressure from the government. YPF, the Argentine state-owned oil company, agreed on March 17 to exercise its preferential purchase right to take the Italian company's stake in Central Dock Sud, a key asset for the supply of electricity to Buenos Aires.
Enel had reached an agreement to sell its 41.2 % stake in Central Dock Sud to Central Puerto, which it expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, but the record results achieved by the oil company during this past year have encouraged its subsidiary YPF Luz to carry out the operation.
YPF Luz explained in a statement that this decision - which represents a turnaround on Enel's plans - is aligned with one of the strategic objectives of contributing to the supply of electricity through generation assets that use natural gas, the most suitable conventional fuel to advance in the transition of the energy matrix.
Central Dock Sud has a capacity of 926 MW, corresponding to a combined cycle of 856 MW and two gas turbines of 70 MW, which produce 5,700 GWh annually, equivalent to the energy needed to supply 1.6 million homes.
The operation also takes place in the midst of a clash between Enel and the Argentine government over the operation of the distribution company Edesur, which is responsible for supplying 2.6 million customers.
The Argentine government filed a criminal complaint against the board of Edesur and is preparing a report to withdraw the company's concession, which could affect the sale plans foreseen in the group's strategic plan at a key moment.
The Italian government must decide in the coming weeks whether to keep Francesco Starace as the company's CEO or to replace him with Snam's CEO, Stefano Donnarumma.