Argentina has commissioned the first section of the Nestor Kirchner Gas Pipeline (GNK), in Salliquelo, Buenos Aires Province, reported Reuters.

Under development by state energy company Energia Argentina, the gas pipeline is designed to carry natural gas from the Vaca Muerta formation in western Argentina to Santa Fe province through Buenos Aires province.

Expected to add 11 million cubic metres of gas per day, the first stage of the gas pipeline starts in Neuquen province and reaches Buenos Aires province.

This capacity is expected to double upon commissioning of the compression plants in Tratayen in Neuquen province, and in Salliquelo in Buenos Aires province.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at a gas compression plant about 30km from Salliquelo, Argentina Economy Minister Sergio Massa was quoted by the news agency as saying: “This work (…) is the beginning of change in the economic and energy matrix of Argentina.

“We are no longer going to import gas in ships because we are going to use the gas from our subsoil.”

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By GlobalData

The president of Energia Argentina told reporters that it would launch tenders for the second section of the gas pipeline in September 2023.

This pipeline section, which will reach San Jeronimo in Santa Fe province, is due to be completed between March and April 2024.

The second stage of the project is expected to increase transportation capacity by 44 million cubic metres of gas per day.

As per the official estimates, the new pipeline is expected to contribute to the country’s efforts to reach net zero in its energy balance in 2024.