Updated 04/13/2021 8:19 PM
Neither the Panamericana nor the 2 nor the Illia:
the most important highway in Argentina
-by far- is called Hidrovía Paraguay-Paraná and it is not run by trucks or cars but by boats, 6,000 per year.
One of the longest natural waterways in the world, almost 3,500 kilometers long, starts in the north, in Brazil, and is key to trade in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and even Bolivia.
125 million tons of cargo annually pass through the local section, approximately 80% of national exports leave and 90% of imports enter.
about $ 70 billion
It is our Suez Canal.
It is difficult to see it from the Buenos Aires cement, but more essential, impossible.
Better mirror of a few
of the great Creole problems
Among other issues, linked to the Hidrovía there are: an important business with crossed interests that several want to take advantage of, a controversial concession
dotted with bribes
, almost irreconcilable ideologies about what to do on a highly complex technical issue and, above all, a
on one of the most crucial strategic issues for the country.
It turns out that this aquatic route has a "little problem": the Paraná is not as deep as the draft of contemporary ships needs it and that is why it must be constantly dredged.
So much so that about
30 million tons of mud, stones and sand
are removed every 12 months
, about 20 River courts filled to the top of the stands.
The one in charge of doing so, since 1995, is Hidrovía SA, a consortium made up of two companies: the Belgian Jan de Nul and the Argentine Emepa.
The Belgian is in charge of the dredging itself and is one of the most dominant companies on the planet in its own way (in an area where the big players number a dozen).
And Argentina, which is in charge of the beaconing, was implicated in the cause of the K corruption notebooks, when in 2018 its owner, Gabriel Romero, declared as repentant before the Justice and admitted that he paid bribes for 600,000 dollars so that Cristina Kirchner will extend the contract in 2010.
Layout of the Paraná-Paraguay waterway and its various sections (image: Latinoconsult SA consultancy)
Now, in just a few days, on April 30, that extension expires.
The date has been known for 11 years.
But, Argentina to the stick, it has just been decided that for now only the extension will be extended (six months, one year, two, who knows) until a new tender is called.
In between, four years of CFK's second term passed.
Also the four of the macrismo, who finished a study on the matter just when he was leaving the government
and did not manage to start it
So far in the current administration, the President started by announcing
that he was going to nationalize the management
of the waterway, just as La Cámpora and other K sectors wanted and want, but the cereal companies and industry in general (which pay a good toll) part of the business, which amounts to more than 300 million dollars a year) disagreed and demanded lower costs and more efficiency.
Fernández ended up backing down and delegated the problem to the Ministry of Transportation, which the last thing he did was call a meeting of the Federal Council of the Hidrovía, in which the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Santa Fe, Corrientes, Chaco and Misiones participate. , for April 26.
Four days before the expiration of the concession.
what they say.
Argentina has a long experience in
its most important infrastructure works and it would be convenient not to add more with the Hidrovía.
As a sample button, it is worth remembering that in 1882 President Roca approved Eduardo Madero's project to build a new port for Buenos Aires, something that in turn had been pending almost since the very foundation of the city 300 years ago.
The work, financed by the Baring Brothers and in charge of the also English Thomas Walker Co., was finished in 1898. And
ten years later it was no longer useful, because it was obsolete
, because the ships were simply larger than planned and did not fit.
Then another construction was faced, Puerto Nuevo, which was completed in 1919 and continues to operate.
It was made according to the project that was left aside to make Madero's.
It belonged to an engineer, Luis Huergo, the first president of the Argentine Scientific Society.
Madero was a merchant.
And its port today works as a charming neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
The ruling party, far from consensus and without a clear political message
Death is on the loose (nobody cares anymore)