Coal: energy of the past – LA NACION

Coal: energy of the past – LA NACION

President Javier Milei appointed the engineer Thierry Decoud as auditor in the state company Río Turbio Carboniferous Deposits (YCRT). It will be in front of the complex that includes the underground mine, a treatment plant, the Río Turbio Thermoelectric Plantthe railway branch and the port in Loyola Point. It would be one of the many state companies to be privatized by the current government management. According to reports, Decoud has already informed the company’s management line that there is no money to guarantee its operation.

The numbers that the complex returns based on Santa Cruz They would be scandalous to any accountant: billing is not enough to pay 10% of the salaries of its 2,400 employees. YCRT’s genuine income does not cover 1% of the budget.

It is worth remembering that when there were less than ten days left to finish the administration, the previous government published a decree of necessity and urgency (DNU) in the Official bulletinsigned by Alberto Fernandez and all his ministers, in which he expanded the budget allocations for different public companies, including YCRT, with an increase of 8000 million pesos. It is a crazy amount if you also consider that it is an energy source that is being abandoned in the world because it is highly polluting. In remuneration alone, the company generates an expense of about 45 million dollars.

In times of energy transition, countries are seeing how coal-using plants close, not how they inaugurate them

The project was never viable, because the efficiency of coal is poor. After decades of extractive activity, it was never consolidated, particularly in a country that has abundant gas. That is why it would be much more efficient to allocate resources to wind energy, for example, with some reconversion of workers in the area to some profitable activity, whether it be a mining investment, tourism, fishing, oil or construction, among others. Continuing to invest money in coal exploitation in the 21st century is truly an anachronism.

Historically, coal production did not grow enough to sustain the massive power plant that was built near the wellhead. The railway line that connects the mine with Rio gallegos, put into operation as part of an also absurd tourist project – and which only operated on the day of the inauguration – could eventually transport imported coal, but at a very high cost. When these difficulties became evident, the power plant was modified to burn gas, but it was also very expensive and required more investments to be realized.

YCRT is probably one of the most demonstrative cases of the structurally corrupt nature of Kirchnerism.. It constitutes one of the most obvious examples of ideological irrationality conveniently directed at investing enormous efforts in unviable projects.

Currently, although coal continues to occupy an important portion of electricity generation in many parts of the world, it is the main fuel to be replaced by other energy sources. The fundamental reason is the urgent need to reduce gas emissions that cause the phenomenon of global warming.

Continuing to promote large-scale coal exploitation in Argentina is a serious mistake. It is unusual then that, at the same time that we must contribute to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, someone continues with the strange idea of ​​continuing to rely on coal to generate energy.

In times of energy transition, countries are seeing how coal-using plants close, not how they open. Allocating funds for salaries of officials and supporting old structures is nonsense.


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