Knowledge Exchange Spurs China-Argentina Infrastructure Projects

(Xinhua, 8.Apr.2019) — Knowledge exchange between Chinese and Argentine technicians spurs large-scale joint infrastructure projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Argentine workers at Chinese company Power China.

Chinese company Power China is currently helping develop Argentina’s alternative energy sources by building a series of wind farms in Chubut, a province in the country’s southern Patagonia region.

Known as Loma Blanca, the project’s four wind farms are scheduled to be completed in December, supplying some 256 megawatts of power to the country’s electric grid.

Betiana Caramelli, who is in charge of quality management at the wind farms, has been on the project since it began in July 2018.

Things were a little tough at the start, Caramelli told Xinhua, as the Chinese personnel had to quickly learn about Argentine norms while the Argentine staff had to become familiar with Power China’s work procedures.

“It was all a learning process for both, because we had to explain things for them and they would have to tell us how they did things. It was a mutual learning process,” she said.

Working on the project are professionals in the fields of electrical, civil, mechanical, electromechanical and topographical engineering, translators and machine operators, among others.

Electromechanical engineer Jose Luis Pintos underscored the “good relationship” that the Chinese and Argentine workers built day by day with a pragmatic approach to move the project forward.

“The Chinese company is adapting to us and I believe it is mutual: we are also trying to adapt to them,” Pintos said.

“Here we have to strike a balance and seek common grounds. This is a project with a beginning and an end, and to which we all have to apply ourselves to achieve the goal,” he added.

This interaction has led to “a mutual agreement where we learn their methods, their tendencies and their work procedures, and I believe they do the same with us,” said Pintos.

“They come with an open mind and I think they seek … to make this (project) turn out as best as possible,” he said.

The BRI, first proposed by China in 2013, aims to drive global growth by promoting infrastructure, connectivity, financial mechanisms and public policies needed to spur trade, especially among the world’s emerging and developing regions.

During interviews with Xinhua, workers said the BRI is not only to spur global growth through trade and promote infrastructure buildings and technological cooperations in projects like Loma Blanca, but also has been an important educational component and contributes to cultural exchanges.

Engineer Gabriel Hernandez, field manager at Loma Blanca, said it is an “excellent initiative,” because it drives cooperation even between “two countries (that) are physically very far apart,” such as Argentina and China.

It allows “us to know one another” and “to adapt to working together,” deepening mutual understanding, said Hernandez.

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