Argentine state-owned Energía Argentina (Enarsa) has signed contracts with a Techint-Sociedad Argentina de Construcción y Desarrollo Estratégico (SACDE) temporary union of companies (UTE) for construction of two sections of the Northern Gas Pipeline reversal. This project will enable transportation of shale natural gas from Neuquén basin to the northern region of the country.
Sections 2 and 3 consist of 100 km of the 36-in. OD Federal Integration Pipeline Tío Pujio-La Carlota, connecting the Central-West Pipeline to the Northern Gas Pipeline in Córdoba province. The project also includes a 62-km loop of the Northern Gas Pipeline in Córdoba, the reversal of four compressor plants on that pipeline, and the remaining 22 km of the Tío Pujio-La Carlota Pipeline.
Reversal of the Northern Gas Pipeline is complementary to the 11-million cu m/day President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline and will deliver Vaca Muerta gas to end users in various provinces, including Córdoba, Tucumán, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Salta, and Jujuy. The gas will be used for electricity generation, connecting new homes, and promoting new industrial activities, particularly lithium mining.
In winning these contracts, the Techint-SACDE UTE may now end up building all three segments of the reversal. Although the original bidding documents stipulated that no company could be awarded all three sections, the process for the first section was declared void, requiring a new bidding process.
To finance the project, Enarsa has already secured a $540-million loan from the Development Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean. The total project is valued at $740 million. The government of President Javier Milei is eager to conclude this project, as it will allow for savings of more than $500 million in gas imports from Bolivia (whose contract ends this year) with gas production from the Vaca Muerta formation and eventually initiate exports from northern Argentina.