Armando Losón

PRESIDENT OF GRUPO ALBANESI

Argentina 2017  I  Energy  I  Leader

BIOGRAPHY Since 1976, he managed to transform the company into one of the leading national companies in the energy sector. Initially entering into infrastructure works, once actively involved in the natural gas market, it placed the company as a leader in its commercialization. Since the deregulation of the sector in 1992, today is also a key player in the power generation business.

"OUR COMMITMENT TO ARGENTINA IS PART OF OUR DNA SINCE MY GRANDFATHER HAS STARTED THIS COMPANY 105 YEARS AGO."  

GRUPO ALBANESI IS A LEADER IN THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF NATURAL GAS AND POWER GENERATION IN ARGENTINA. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY’S activities?

 

We are the pioneers in natural gas in Argentina being the first company to perform a natural gas trading operation in the domestic market in 1994. We are the leader in the commercialization of natural gas in the country, trading more than 10% of the total gas demand in Argentina representing 22,6% of the gas consumed by the Large Customers segment and 4% of the transportation used in the system.

 

In 1976, when my grandfather Rafael G. Albanesi died and I became President, we added to our business activities the construction of gas pipelines and supplementary surface facilities, participating actively since 1989 in various projects in the Province of Santa Fe that provided natural gas for industrial and residential use with the Central Gas Pipeline of the Province and in Casilda, Firmat and Venado Tuerto with the South Gas Pipeline. After the privatization of the company Gas del Estado, our activity in this segment has been focused on the construction of pipelines for customers that are supplied with natural gas, linking the Trunk Gas Pipelines from the National Gas Transportation System with its industrial plants and power stations. We have entered the power generation business in 2004 with the acquisition of a share in the thermal power plant Luis Piedra Buena SA with a capacity of 620 MW. Since then, it has become our core business and today we have 10 power generation facilities in Argentina representing 1000 MW with five others to come adding 600 MW to the grid this year.

 

GRUPO ALBANESI AND SIEMENS HAVE PARTNERED IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF ARGENTINA. WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED OUTCOME OF THIS PARTNERSHIP?

 

Siemens has established itself as the world leader in industrial machines and they are one of five companies that manufacture the kind of equipment that Argentina uses for power generation. After meeting with President Mauricio Macri, the President of Siemens, Joe Kaeser decided to work with Argentina on USD 5.6 billion worth of projects in the next four years to improve infrastructure, mobility and energy management in the country. Siemens has chosen Grupo Albanesi as their partners in Argentina and we have signed an agreement to buy 8 equipments of 50 MW and another of 170 MW, with its financing backed by Germany’s export credit agency, as part of a total of USD 3.6 billion projects financed in the country by Siemens. This year we will be creating over 2,300 jobs with the beginning of construction of our projects and an important part of these jobs will remain for the operation when everything is completed by the end of 2019.

GRUPO ALBANESI IS RECOGNIZED FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARGENTINA’S ECONOMY. HOW ARE YOU HELPING THE COUNTRY TODAY?

 

Our commitment to Argentina is part of our DNA since my grandfather has started this company 105 years ago. I have been President of this company for over 40 years, being the third generation of our family ahead of the company and my son is the fourth. For many years, we have been reinvesting our profits back into our businesses independently of the country’s economic cycles. This is one of the reasons we are recognized by our Government and the civil society.

 

It is also important to highlight that our investments affect also the local companies. On our Siemens partnership, only 40% of the total investments are for the machinery, the rest is being reinvested directly with Argentinian companies that are using local components and workforce to help us finalize our projects. This is a great benefit to our country and I wish that foreign investors have the same committment when making their investments in Argentina.

under your leadership, the group has also diversified its activities to other sector of the economy. what other businesses are you involved?

 

In 2001, we have decided to explore the possibility of making wine in the raw and untapped soil in La Pampa, in the northern part of Patagonia. We have partnered with the top US-based winemaker Paul Hobbs, which is famous for its Californian wines, and we have launched our first group of wines back in 2004 with the the first stages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Chardonnay vines that were planted. We have also a small business airline called Alba Jet SA based in the International Airport of San Fernando, where it has a modern hangar of approximately 1500 m2 of covered surface and capacity to store third parties’ aircrafts. We have currently two aircrafts, a Learjet 45 and a Helicopter BELL 429.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF MAURICIO MACRI HAS SUCCEEDED IN CHANGING THE IMAGE OF ARGENTINA INTERNATIONALLY. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS INTERESTED IN THE COUNTRY?

 

We are already seeing positive changes with the new Government of President Mauricio Macri, we very confident that Argentina is on the right track and strongly believe the country has a bright future ahead. Foreign investors are familiar with Argentina and even though it is not always easy to make medium or long-term predictions, the most important is that today it is clear that Argentina honours its obligations and projects will move forward independently of the outcome of any elections. We are very optimist about the country’s future.