June 7, 2018 / 3:06 AM / a year ago

Argentina's YPF, GE launch new unit as search for third partner stalls

FILE PHOTO: Miguel Gutierrez, chairman of Argentina's state-run petroleum company YPF SA poses for a portrait in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF SA said on Wednesday its electricity unit, which recently received investment from General Electric, would invest $1 billion through 2020, though talks with a potential third partner have stalled.

In February, YPF announced it had sold a 24.99 percent stake in its YPF Energia Electrica unit to GE for $276 million. At the time, it said it was in advanced talks with a third partner, but those negotiations have not borne fruit.

“We do not have an open process,” YPF Chairman Miguel Gutierrez told reporters, referring to the search for a third party.

The unit - which will be known as YPF Luz and operate independently from the oil company - will raise its capacity to 4,500 megawatts per hour by 2022 or 2023, Gutierrez said. That would make it Argentina’s third-largest generator. Currently, it is the fifth-largest and produces 1,800 megawatts per hour.

Gutierrez said that once the new company finishes its development stage, it could list on the local stock exchange.

Reporting by Juliana Castilla; Writing by Luc Cohen, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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