Electricity in Argentina
Estudio O'Farrell’s highly regarded team is comprised of ‘specialists with an integral vision and highly qualified knowledge in the different aspects of the market’, according to sources. The firm packs a punch in all key pillars of electricity law, with strong skill sets in regulatory, transactional and contentious matters. On the regulatory front, the multidisciplinary practice advises some of the country’s largest power companies (including YPF Energía Eléctrica, Pampa Energía and Transener) on regulatory compliance and administrative challenges. On the transactional side, the group is routinely engaged by energy companies seeking support on M&A, joint ventures and project finance. It also excels in complex litigation, where its ability to lean on the firm’s robust public law and economic regulation departments is a significant asset. Senior partner Uriel O’Farrell is a stand-out specialist in the power area, with premier sector expertise in M&A, privatisation transactions, regulation and dispute resolution. Other key contacts include economic regulation specialist Agustin Siboldi, who is highly regarded for his experience in regulatory and contentious matters, and Agustina Fanelli Evans, who is recommended for her strength in public law issues.
‘Demonstrates high professionalism in the energy areas.’
‘Displays thorough knowledge of the renewable energy industry.’
‘These are specialists with an integral vision and highly qualified knowledge in the different aspects of the market, particularly Agustin Siboldi and Uriel O’Farrell.’
YPF Energía Eléctrica
Pampa Energía (Central Térmica Güemes, Central Térmica Loma de la Lata)
Comunicaciones y Consumos
Transener – Transba
Energía San Juan
Agua Negra (Empresa Distribuidora de Tucumán; Empresa Distribuidora de Jujuy)
Latinoamericana de Energía
Empresa Distribuidora de Entre Rios ENER
Parques Eólicos Vientos del Sur
Cámara Argentina de Energías Renovables – CADER
- Advised Naturgy on an $80m asset exchange with Cartellone Energía y Concesiones.
- Acted for YPF Energia Eléctrica on its $31.5m acquisition of the La Plata cogeneration power plant from Central Puerto.
- Represented YPF Luz in its claim against the national authorities related to changes to the wholesale electricity market.
- Advised Pampa Energía on various regulatory and litigation matters.
- Advised Naturgy’s subsidiary, Compañía General de Electricidad, on tariff revisions and regulatory matters.
Beccar Varela’s power practice continues to increase its representation of renewable power companies looking to develop projects in Argentina, recently advising major multinational names such as Canadian Solar, Total Eren and Hive Energy. Aside from its blossoming projects practice, the group also advises on corporate and M&A deals, supply matters, finance transactions and regulatory issues — for a mix of energy companies, energy consumers, developers and financial institutions. Department head José Carlos Cueva’s broad practice spans all energy sectors, with a focus on renewable energy.
Flex Wind – Manutenção e Instalação de Sistemas Eólicos
Líneas de Transmisión del Litoral
Inter-American Development Bank
Goldwind International Holdings
- Advised Total Eren on tenders for several wind and solar projects, as part of the international bidding process conducted by the government to award power purchase agreements (PPAs).
- Acted for Hive Energy on plans to develop solar power plants in Argentina, including corporate matters and participation in provincial and national tenders.
- Advised Emprendimientos Energéticos y Desarrollo on regulatory matters related to the development of renewable energy projects.
Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi finds favour for its ‘deep knowledge of the sector’ and its ‘interdisciplinary understanding’. The practice has been particularly active representing key players in the government’s RenovAr renewable energy programme of late, including Envision Energy and Canadian Solar. It also shines on the project finance side, where it plugs into the firm’s market-leading banking and finance practice to represent both banks and borrowers on major financings. Administrative law specialist Ignacio Minorini Lima co-heads the team and advises on power generation, transportation and distribution matters. Corporate and M&A specialist Mariano Luchetti co-leads the group. Administrative law-focused Eliana Hougassian is a capable associate.
‘A professional practice, composed of partners fighting shoulder-to-shoulder for the same, valuable goal.’
‘The team’s interdisciplinary understanding is excellent and it is a pleasure to work with them.’
‘The lawyers of this firm have not only extensive and complete knowledge of the energy area, but their experience, their disposition and their receptivity at all times have no comparison in this market.’
‘Very good predisposition of the entire team to answer queries, generally with a wide availability of time, regardless of schedule.’
‘Demonstrates deep knowledge of the sector and its news.’
Amec Foster Wheleer
Barrick Exploraciones Argentina
Central Termoeléctrica Ensenada de Barragan
China Development Bank
Elawan Energy Developments
Mainstream Renewable Power
Minera Andina del Sol
Pan American Energy
Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia
Termoeléctrica José de San Martín
- Advised Barrick Gold on an international interconnection system between the Chilean grid and mining projects owned by Barrick Gold in Argentina.
- Assisted Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia with regulatory matters related to the development of power generation projects in the private market in Argentina, and on issues arising out of ongoing projects under PPAs executed with the administrator of the wholesale electricity market, CAMMESA.
- Advised Envision Energy on its renewable tenders and also on all issues related to its four awarded projects in Argentina.
Díaz Bobillo, Richard & Sigwald Abogados
Boutique firm Díaz Bobillo, Richard & Sigwald Abogados is widely recognised for its emphasis on energy and administrative law matters. The full-service practice advises on the entire life cycle of electricity law, from regulatory issues through to commercial matters and complex arbitration — for an array of generation, transmission and distribution clients. High-profile sector expert Víctor Díaz Bobillo is a sought-after name for complex power matters. Manuel Goyenechea is also noted for his expertise in energy regulation.
A leader in oil and gas, Martínez de Hoz & Rueda is also becoming an increasingly relevant force in the electricity sphere. On the transactional front, the firm’s premier project finance practice translates into a steady stream of financing deals — where it acts for both borrowers and lenders — and it also advises energy companies on the sale and acquisition of projects. On the regulatory side, the firm provides ongoing advice to Parque Eólico Arauco SAPEM and Eoliasur. Pablo Rueda co-heads the wider energy group and has strong expertise in renewable energy. Jimena Vega Olmos is recommended for project finance, while associate Marcos Blanco provides capable support.
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Green Power Renewables
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Parque Eólico Arauco
Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia
WeLink Energy Group
YPF Energía Eléctrica
- Advised YPF on the public tender for the sale of two thermal generation plants and on its successful bid for the Ensenada Barragán thermal plant.
- Represented Neoen, as sponsor, in the non-recourse project financing of two solar photovoltaic projects located in the province of Salta, totalling $234m.
- Advised Parque Eólico Arauco on regulatory, tax, corporate and contractual matters related to the development of its wind farm projects in Argentina.
Arguably best known for its corporate strength, Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s power practice also deserves credit for its robust commercial and regulatory expertise. Most notably, the energy group is working alongside the firm’s banking and administrative law teams to advise China Gezhouba Group on regulatory power issues and contract negotiation related to the development of the largest hydroelectric project under construction in the country. Sebastián Iribarne leads the electricity practice and has strong transactional experience. Francisco Macías heads the overarching energy department and is recommended for regulatory and transactional matters. Public law associate Gonzalo Santamaria is a talented rising star.
Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA)
Engie – Tractebel Energía
San Martin del Tabacal
- Advised China Gezhouba Group on regulatory power issues and contract negotiations related to the $4.7bn construction of one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the country.
- Acted for Interconexión Eléctrica on its participation in public-private partnership public tenders for transmission line projects.
- Advised General Electric, through its subsidiary EFS Global Energy, on the $140m transfer of its 24.9% stake in YPF Energía Eléctrica to the BNR Infrastructure Co-Investment joint venture — it also advised GE on the negotiation of several PPAs.
Pozo Gowland Abogados
Regulated industries niche-player, Pozo Gowland Abogados specialises in all key aspects of the power industry, with standalone offerings in energy, administrative law, public utilities and regulation, and engineering and construction. The firm represents electricity clients across the full power supply chain, from generation through to transport and distribution processes. Founding partner Héctor Pozo Gowland is widely recognised as an industry leader and focuses on administrative law and regulatory matters.
The ‘always available’ team at Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani impresses with its ‘broad theoretical and practical knowledge’. The energy group combines with the firm’s effective banking practice to provide a strong offering in the project finance area, where it routinely acts for sponsors, lenders and service providers. Its transactional expertise also extends to public tenders and project acquisitions. Additionally, the firm houses a capable regulatory practice, which advises on the full electricity generation and supply chain. Department head Nicolás Eliaschev demonstrates ‘deep knowledge of the regulatory framework’. Senior associate Javier Constanzó provides ‘excellent results’.
‘The team shows broad theoretical and practical knowledge in the area of renewable energy in the public and private sectors.’
‘The working dynamic is very good and they distribute work so as to provide the client with a rapid response.’
‘I doubt there are many firms which are capable of successfully handling the workload that the team managed in our case in a short space of time, which truly demonstrates the team’s organisational and management skills, client orientation and ability to keep a cool head in stressful situations.’
‘All of the members are highly qualified lawyers, with a lot of experience — shown by the fact they have advised businesses in the sector on everything from transactions to highly complex disputes.’
‘The partners are always available and have an excellent perspective on the market. In a country like Argentina, this is essential to finding creative solutions when you encounter a problem.’
‘The team is led by partner Nicolas Eliaschev, a lawyer with a lot of experience in the energy sector, as well as in public law in general. The quality of the service that Nicolas provides is absolutely outstanding, both because of his professional knowledge and experience, and because of his personal dedication to the client.’
‘Among Nicolas Eliaschev’s many qualities, in addition to his deep knowledge of the regulatory framework in this sector, is his experience and knowledge on the subject of economic and financial issues and on the business side of the sector.’
‘I also want to highlight the work and professionalism of Javier Constanzó, a senior lawyer in the team, who has advised our company on many important issues, with excellent results.’
Enel Green Power
OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation)
Banque Nationale de Paris Paribas
Fuentes Renovables de Energia
- Advised Spain-based Elawan Energy on its tenders for round 3 of the RenovAr programme, and on the subsequent award of nine wind power projects.
- Acted for Spain’s Albares Renovables on their successful tender for three solar photovoltaic projects, as part of the RenovAr programme.
- Represented Fresa, a joint venture between two major industrial companies, on the regulatory, construction and financing aspects of the development of two forestry biomass power projects, totalling $280m.
Allende & Brea’s multidisciplinary electricity practice had a strong year; most notably, it continued to advise Nucleoeléctrica Argentina on its agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of two nuclear power plants, worth $12bn. It also advises Wärtsilä Argentina and Siemens on Argentine power projects. Marcos Patrón Costas spearheads the power practice and specialises in transactional matters.
Energyst Rental Solutions
Enel Green Power
- Represented Nucleoeléctrica Argentina in its agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of two nuclear power plants in Argentina, worth $12bn.
- Advised Wärtsilä Argentina on an operation and maintenance agreement with Sullair for a power plant located in the province of Jujuy.
Baker McKenzie’s ‘super-focused’ and ‘professional’ group is distinguished by its ability to draw upon its international network to provide global coverage of utilities and energy matters. The team has experience in both conventional and renewable energy-related issues, with a focus on procurement and government contracts. The multidisciplinary group is led jointly by transactional energy partner Adolfo Durañona, Roberto Grané, who handles M&A, energy and TMT matters, and Ezequiel Artola, who advises on mining, energy and infrastructure.
‘The big plus is the team’s strong efficiency, whenever the customer raises any questions, the lawyers will reply within one day — and with very detailed explanations.’
‘Baker McKenzie is quite knowledgeable in the renewable energy sector and assisted us to start our business in Argentina successfully.’
‘They are super focused, their expertise shows and they get straight to the point.’
‘The team is professional and united and everyone has his/her focus areas to cover all our needs.’
‘My main contact is Ezequiel Artola; I can always get his prompt feedback even though the time difference between our jurisdictions is 11 hours.’
Procter & Gamble
- Advised Procter & Gamble on the best approach to renewable energy projects and the associated tax benefits.
- Represented DuPont in a dispute with energy distributors relating to the collection of tariffs.
Bomchil’s power practice sits within its economic regulation and administrative law department and has a strong public law dimension. The group is also distinguished by its representation of electricity consumers on renewable energy supply matters, including recent work for the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires and Metalsa. Key contact María Inés Corrá has an emphasis on energy regulation and disputes, including arbitration.
‘We consider the ethics of the firm very important, in addition to professional excellence. In this case, in what has been our experience, such requirements were met.’
‘The firm’s attorneys have demonstrated a superior commitment to entrusted issues, a creative capacity to solve contingencies and an outstanding professional ethic.’
SBA Communications Corporation
Minera Los Pelambres (Antofagasta Minerals)
Wintershall DEA Argentina
- Advised HCA – Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires on the design of the first MATER (Mercado a Término de Energías Renovables) contracts for energy supply from renewable sources.
- Advised SBA Communications on regulatory matters related to the options for the use of energy at their towers.
Administrative law boutique Cassagne Abogados houses a solid electricity practice specialising in public law matters, including the renegotiation of concession contracts and the challenging of fines, rates and regulatory orders issued by the authorities. Additionally, the group brings to bear significant project development experience. Key contacts include Ezequiel Cassagne and Julio Durand — both are public law experts.
Empresa Distribuidora de Energía Norte (EDEN)
Empresa Distribuidora de Energía Atlántica (EDEA)
China Gezhouba Group
Aluar Aluminio Argentino
Empresa de Energía Río Negro (EdERSA)
- Represented several concessionaires of the electricity distribution service (which operate in Buenos Aires Province and are controlled by Desarrolladora Energética) in class actions filed by consumers’ associations challenging rate updates.
- advised a joint venture formed by a Chinese construction company and a local constructor on the renegotiation of a $1.3bn contract for the construction of an electric generator plant.
Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados’ practice encompasses the full spread of electricity matters, from regulatory and contractual issues, through to financing, transactions and dispute resolution. The group is comprised of interdisciplinary partners specialising in public law, corporate and M&A, and banking and finance, and is further supplemented by the wider firm’s offerings in tax and competition matters. Key contacts include administrative law partners Horacio Ruiz Moreno and Gustavo Cedrone.
Ledesma / Ledesma Renovables
Orazul Energy Cerros Colorados
ENEL Generación El Chocón
Export-Import Bank of China
Aluar Aluminio Argentino
IEASA (Former Enarsa)
- Advised Ledesma as bidder in the third round of the RenovAr programme.
- Advised Mitsui on the development of the Vientos Los Hércules wind farm project in Argentina, a project in which Mitsui has a 34% stake.