Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor, has entered the Argentine wind-power market by acquiring a 50% stake in a the 120MW Cañadón León wind farm project, which is owned and being built by local power company YPF Luz.
“We are pleased to deepen and strengthen our relationship with Argentina’s leading energy company YPF, now also within wind power,” says Pål Eitrheim, executive vice-president for new energy solutions at Equinor.
The transaction has yet to be approved by Argentine anti-trust authorities and other regulatory bodies.
Equinor, formerly Statoil, first entered the Argentine market in 2017 through the acquisition of onshore oil blocks, one of which it is exploring through a 50% partnership with Argentina's state-controlled oil company YPF, the parent company of YPF Luz. YPF Luz also has US industrial group GE as a stakeholder.
The 50% interest in Cañadón León was acquired through a $30m purchase of shares in Luz de Leon, the special-purpose company which controls the 120MW project in the southern Santa Cruz Argentine province.
YPF Luz won a 20-year regulated market power-purchase agreement for 99MW of Cañadón León's output in a 2017 tender. The other 21MW are being developed for the non-regulated market to serve corporate energy contracts.
Total investment in the project is projected at $190m.
This is not Equinor’s first venture into Latin America’s renewable energy markets. In Argentina, it already has a 50% indirect interest in the 100MW Guanizul 2A solar farm and has bought solar power assets in the Brazil.
Although it also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Petrobras to study the country’s offshore wind potential, the Brazilian state-owned oil company has recently revealed that it will not invest in renewable-energy projects.