President Raul Alfonsin inaugurated a $900 million geothermoelectric plant on a volcanic peak northwest of Neuquen, the first facility of its kind in South America.

The 670-kilowatt plant, made in the United States with Israeli technology, is on top of 9,570-foot Copa-hue volcano in the Andes Mountains, 740 miles southwest of Buenos Aires.

Costs of acquiring the plant, which will be powered by thermal energy from the Earth, were shared by the national and Neuquen provincial energy departments and the University of Copahue.

Officials say the plant can supply cheap, cost-effective power to commercial businesses in the region.