Argentina wholesale market to normalize this week

By ALEJANDRO TUMAYAN

ARGENTINA, Sept. 11, 2000 (BNamericas.com) à‚– Argentina’s Wholesale Energy Market (MEM) returned to normal operations after recent bomb attacks on transmission lines in Buenos Aires province that led to 100% price increases for electric power.

The three transmission poles damaged in the attack have already been repaired, but MEM prices will take a couple of days to return to normal as thermoelectric generation plants that started operations to cover the deficit cannot stop immediately, investor relations manager for MEM administrator #Cammesa#, Juan Gazzari, told BNamericas.com.

Although generators managed to cover the deficit of hydroelectric power from the south of the country, prices increased sharply. Prices per MW reached US$170 on September 6, the day of the bombings, after an average of some US$25/MW in the days previous to the attacks.

By the end of September 6 power traded at US$130/MW, falling to US$118/MW September 7 and US$98/MW September 8. “The price should gradually decrease to reach its normal average price within two or three days,” Gazzari said.

“As high as the prices may be, they are temporary events that will not affect distributors,” distributors’ association Adeera general manager Orlando Ramatti told BNamericas.com, explaining that distributors have a stabilization fund specifically to cover such events.

The fund has some US$35mn per quarter to cover differences between the spot market prices and those fixed by the regulator, Ramatti said. If these resources run dry and market prices keep increasing, the difference is passed on to consumers in the next quarter via rates increases.

Generators that can cover contracts and produce surpluses stand to gain from the rates increases, with the exception of those located in the south of the country who cannot transport their power to the Buenos Aires market, a generator source who preferred to remain anonymous said.

Business News Americas (BNamericas.com)

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