During its bi-annual Report 2018 trade show in September, the Asociación Tecnológica Iberoamericana de Pinturas, Adhesivos y Tintas, or Antipat, included a special session on renewable energy, moderated by Alejandro Pueyrredón, president of the association. Attendees heard presentations on the benefits of adopting wind and solar power, as well as plans by state utility YPF Luz to build three wind farms with a combined capacity of 600 MW.
The goal of the renewable energy forum is to help association members understand and adopt green solutions, according to a statement by Pueyrredón. The government is also promoting more use of renewables with a goal of 20 percent of the national electricity demand coming from renewables by 2025.
More than 50 companies exhibited at Report 2018, and representatives from Brazil’s paint and coatings association, Abrafati were present. Attendance at the show is typically in the realm of 2,000 or more visitors, Antipat said. Many of these companies also posted video spotlights on the association’s Facebook page.
Several weeks prior to the Report 2018 event, Antipat organized an economic seminar entitled Decisiones 2018. Presenters included Ignacio Bersztein, the president of Color Mixing, Carlos J. M. Del Santo, the president of Sanyo Color and Federico Ferchero, the general manager of Tersuave. The seminar was moderated by Antipat’s Pueyrredón.
Among the bright spots in the paint and coatings industry in Argentina is the growth of housing construction, fueling demand for architectural coatings. The government plans to help alleviate the housing shortage by opening up bids for prefabricated housing to international companies. The government has a goal of adding more than 10,000 homes in the coming year.
However, financing for the construction industry in public sector works has been impacted negatively by the government’s 60 percent interest rate for bonds, and a corresponding 50 percent drop in the value of the peso relative to the U.S. dollar.
A scandal over alleged government bribes by prior administrations involving public works projects also have slowed the pace of large construction projects in the country. Credit analyst and rating company Fitch Solutions said in August that, “The emergence of a corruption scandal in Argentina boosts downside risks to our forecasts for Argentina’s construction industry, particularly in 2018 and 2019.”
Fitch has downgraded its outlook for construction growth in Argentina over the near term because of the combination of scandal, high interest rates and slowed government spending. “This poses downside risk to our forecasts for the (construction) industry which we expect will grow by just 1.1 percent in 2018 and 0.8 percent in 2019, down from growth of 10 percent in 2017,” Fitch reported.
Argentina is no stranger to economic crises, which have stunned the economy several times over the past few decades. This time, the International Monetary Fund has agreed to lend $50 billion to the government of Argentina, led by Mauricio Macri.
Hopes are that several billion dollars will be invested in Argentina’s shale reserves development at Vaca Muerta, where current production of some 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day could hit 900,000 barrels by 2024, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie.
“Five years into the shale play’s development, Vaca Muerta’s enormous potential is well known. Numerous ongoing pilots are consistently confirming productivity while a few projects are demonstrating what is possible under full-scale development,” the consultants said.