Major League Soccer

A great business, the owner of Messi's team intends to make a million-dollar deal in Argentina

By Hector Garcia

A great business, the owner of Messi's team intends to make a million-dollar deal in Argentina

Jorge Mas fights in the tender for another key work to change the country's energy matrix.

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Not all public works will be suspended in Argentina. President Javier Milei ordered that the strategies continue, and in some cases even with an even larger budget. With this objective, the Government decided to move forward with one in particular: the "reversal of the Northern gas pipeline", which will allow imports from Bolivia to be replaced by national production from Vaca Muerta.

With this objective, Argentina already has a loan of US$ 540 million from the Development Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF). According to official sources, although in principle it was believed that the State should contribute US$100 million to advance the project, the devaluation of December 12 changed the equation.

Now the government explains that with the new official exchange rate of $810 it will not be necessary. The State had already contributed around US$70 million to buy the pipes from Ternium, of the Techint group, a purchase that was awarded through bidding. And to accelerate the project process, the state company Energía Argentina (Enarsa) divided the work into different sections, as it did with the construction of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline, in order to be able to tender them separately to different companies.

Unlike the previous work, however, this tender was international and allowed the entry of foreign firms. It is there where Pumpco, a subsidiary of MasTec, came to work, whose president and main shareholder is the Cuban-American businessman Jorge Mas, owner of Inter Miami, the club in which Lionel Messi stands out. But he is also president of Real Zaragoza, Spain. Pumpco was the only bidder, which leaves it one step away from obtaining a million-dollar business.

Controversy and various accusations

Last October, when the offers for the first section were presented, Pumpco was ruled out of the process because the previous management of Enarsa accused it of being a fronting (a screen) for a local company, the construction company Víctor Contreras, with which they claimed to have had a bad experience during the construction of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline.

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