Siemens to back $5.6bn Argentina infrastructure pipeline

The German developer has pledged €3.1bn to the portfolio of projects, shortly after the US Export-Import Bank said it would restart lending to the country.

Siemens has committed to participate in a $5.5 billion programme of Argentinian infrastructure projects in a boost to the administration of President Mauricio Macri.

The German industrial giant has pledged to provide €3.1 billion of financing, backed by Germany’s export credit agency, to get the ball rolling on the investment plan, Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser said in Buenos Aires earlier this week.

The programme will include building high-efficiency gas power plants, developing utility-scale wind farms, automating urban transport to reduce traffic jams and making Buenos Aires buildings less energy hungry. It is supposed to last four to five years.

The announcement will provide a fillip to the reforms undertaken by Macri, who took office last December on a pledge to shore up investments in a nation ostracised from international capital markets after repeated sovereign defaults.

The President has since devalued the Argentinian peso and sealed a deal with debtholders, allowing Argentina to suspend stringent capital controls and return to the debt markets. The country raised $16.5 million through a milestone bond issuance last April.

In a statement, Siemens said it plans to double its business in Argentina by 2020. Little detail was provided on which projects it will back and how it intends to fund them. Siemens could not be reached for comment before press time.

Also this week, the US Export-Import Bank said it would start offering financing to Argentina after nearly 15 years. The bank had previously backed infrastructure projects in the country, including a motorway leading into the capital.