The large Salto Grande Dam project is nearing completion on the Uruguay River which forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
The large Salto Grande Dam project is nearing completion on the Uruguay River which forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina. For both countries it represents one of the biggest energy developments since the war.
When the hydro-electrical scheme is finished, the water from the lake behind the dam will drive twelve turbo-generators, which will feed power to both Uruguay and Argentina. The two countries will also be connected by a road and a railway -- both running along the top of the dam.
The dam lies between the towns of Concordia in Argentina and Salto in Uruguay, and for both it has brought the advantage of increased employment. Over the past five years during which the dam has been under construction, the work is estimated to have cost about 190 million dollars (GBP95 million sterling approx.), and five thousand workers have been employed on the project.
Eventually both countries will be entitled to take fifty per cent of the power produced by the dam. But for the next four and half years Argentina will be taking four times the power that Uruguay will require. As Uruguay's own demands grow, the two generators producing its power, will be gradually increased in number to six.
Meanwhile, Argentina will repay a majority production of the debt charges both countries have incurred in construction the dam. As Uruguay increases the amount of power it takes from the dam, so the relative proportion of Argentina's repayments will fall.