Argentina Colder Than Antarctica Spurs Record Power Imports, Shuts Plants | Print |
Argentina Colder Than Antarctica Spurs Record Power Imports, Shuts Plants
Argentina is importing record amountsof energy as the coldest winter in 40 years drives up demand andcauses natural gas shortages, prompting Dow Chemical Co. andsteelmaker Siderar SAIC to scale back production.
Electricity supplied from Brazil and Paraguay rose to adaily combined record of about 1,000 megawatts on July 12, whileconsumption peaked at 20,396 megawatts three days later,according to Buenos Aires-based energy broker Cammesa. Shipmentsof liquefied natural gas are set to double this year.
Dow, Siderar and aluminum maker Aluar Aluminio ArgentinoSAIC are among companies closing plants, cutting output orseeking alternative energy sources after temperatures in partsof Argentina fell below those of Antarctica. Rising demand isexacerbating a shortage that began six years ago as economicgrowth accelerated and energy investment fell. The shortage isboosting costs as companies spend more to guarantee supplies.
“The situation is getting worse, because the shortageperiod is growing every year,” Gerardo Rabinovich, a directorat the General Mosconi Energy Institute in Buenos Aires and anadviser to the opposition Radical Party, said in a telephoneinterview. “When this started in 2004, it lasted for about aweek, then it was two weeks and now it’s more than a month.”
Last month, temperatures in Buenos Aires were on averageone degree Celsius below the usual low and high of 8 and 14degrees, with temperatures plummeting to about 2 degrees Celsiuson July 15.