Federico Franco, Vice President of Paraguay, maintains that the expansion of Yacyretá, a binational dam and hydroelectric power plant, will depend on the annulment of debt with Buenos Aires as well as business with Uruguay.
Recently, Yacyretá, located on the Paraná River in the town of Añacuá, has been the center of much debate. Argentina wishes to begin an expansion project of this hydroelectric power plant. This however will not happen without the cooperation of neighboring country, Paraguay. According to Federico Franco, Paraguay’s Vice President, this expansion will happen if and only if certain expectations are met.
“We believe that Añacuá is important, but in order to do it, Argentina should clarify that Paraguay does not have any debt on the dam.” Franco is referring to an old request of 9 billion dollars by the Argentine Treasury.
In addition to erasing this past debt, Franco also demands that Argentina allow the energy to run from Paraguay, through Argentina and into nearby Uruguay. He also requests that the price of the energy is discussed and that they finalize the completion plans for the plant.
Energy generated by Yacyretá sells below market prices. This trend is estimated to continue until the year 2047. Last week, however, the Argentine government offered to buy the energy from the dam at market value. This is in spite of an existing agreement with Uruguay.
According to Franco, “Yacyretá will never be profitable for Paraguay because we give away the energy to Argentina.”