National and provincial officials and energy specialists stressed the importance of the development of Argentine green hydrogen in the design of a new energy, economic and exporting matrix for the country.
The main project is being carried out by the Australian company Fortescue Future Industries, with the "Pampas Project" in Río Negro and a total investment estimated at u$s8,400 million. The initiative is in a pre-feasibility stage, a phase in which environmental, social and engineering studies are being carried out that will allow the configuration of the project and the wind farms, production plant and transmission lines in Patagonia. It is expected to start exporting in 2027, with an estimated production of 2.2 million tons per year. According to Chancellor Santiago Cafiero at the Global Forum held in Bariloche, the production of green hydrogen will be part of an energy transition that should provide Argentina with a "vector" that will bring genuine dollars to help "solve structural problems". "We are not seeking with this project to prioritize natural resources, but the possibility of finding new export development vectors and new economic development vectors for the country", said Cafiero, accompanied by the governor of Río Negro, Arabela Carreras.
The governor assured before dozens of businessmen that the province has a "strategic plan" in the matter of green hydrogen "understanding that the market will be predominant in this path". For the governor of the province, the strategic plan seeks "to achieve local development and the great challenge when we have large investments is that our inhabitants live better".
The director of Energy Policy for the European Union Commission, Cristina Lobillo Borrero, said that green hydrogen is "an energy source that is considered a priority to achieve climate neutrality in 2050". In fact, the European World Energy Council estimated that by that year they will have to import 30 million tons of hydrogen per year, that is, half of what the Old Continent needs. That implies that hydrogen could represent between 10% and 15% of the energy mix in Europe. For this, they foresee an associated investment of u$s1 billion, half for production and half for logistics infrastructure.
"For us, energy security also means accelerating the energy transition, safe energy and green energy, but also energy that is socially fair," said Lobillo Borrero, who stated that "energy must be green, safe and also socially fair; these are the three pillars of the energy transition.
At the same forum, the Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón, unveiled the final outlines of the bill to promote the sector, which will soon be sent to Congress and which contemplates fiscal stability for investments for 30 years, tax benefits, access to the foreign exchange market, zero tariffs on exports and other incentives. But the law - key for the development of the "Pampas Project" - also seeks to promote the growing integration of local suppliers to the industry's value chain, and investment in science and technology for the development of knowledge in this segment of the new energies.