Energy News of Armenia 2021
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Energy News of Armenia

May 7, 2021 Masrik-1 solar power plant in Armenia to be commissioned in 2024

The  largest utility-scale solar power plant in Armenia, located in Mets Masrik community in Gegharkunik region is expected to be commissioned in 2024, Karen Asatryan, director of the Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund, an affiliation of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, told a news conference on Friday.

The 55 MW solar power plant, the first-of-its-kind in the country, will help boost Armenia’s supply of renewable energy while reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

The facility will produce enough clean energy to supply more than 20,000 homes and avoid the emission of over 40,000 tons of CO2 annually. 

Masrik-1 solar power plant will generate more than 128 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually at a competitive tariff. The electricity will be sold under a power purchase agreement to Electric Networks of Armenia, the utility company responsible for distribution of electricity in the country.

The solar plant is being constructed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable energy projects.

The project is supported by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Union. They will extend up to USD 38.4 million financing structured in different tranches of debt. Ameriabank will provide AMD loan facility to finance company’s VAT needs. 

Asatryan said also that the winner of a tender announced for the construction of a 200 MW Aig-1 solar power plant in Aragatsotn province will be announced in a few months.  Three companies- HydroChina Corporation, Gazprom Energoholding LLC and Abu Dhabi Futures Energy Company CJSC have passed the pre-qualification round.

Source:arka.am

April 15, 2021 EBRD, EU and E5P to launch landfill construction in Armenia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU), in partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia, have launched the construction of a new solid-waste landfill facility in Hrazdan, a town in central Armenia that serves as a transport hub between the capital, Yerevan, and the north of the country.

The ceremony was attended by Suren Papikyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia; Her Excellency Andrea Wiktorin, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Armenia; Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of Armenia; His Excellency Patrik Svensson, Ambassador of Sweden to Armenia, His Excellency Pawel Cieplak, Ambassador of Poland to Armenia, and other distinguished guests, including representatives of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

The new solid-waste landfill facility will meet EU standards and make a major contribution to environmental improvements in Hrazdan and the 11 other municipalities it will serve. The EBRD has extended a €5.5 million loan to construct the facility, alongside a €3.5 million grant from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility and a €2 million grant from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) fund.  

The new facility will be equipped with modern solid-waste management processes, encompass the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste and provide major environmental and social benefits for local residents and businesses. It will be located near the Yerevan-Sevan highway and cover seven municipalities in the Kotayk region (Hrazdan, Abovyan, Nor Hachn, Byureghavan, Charentsavan, Eghvard and Tsakhadzor) and five in the Gegharkunik region (Sevan, Vardenis, Gavar, Martuni and Chambarak).

This is the EBRD’s first solid-waste project in Armenia and supports the government’s plans to modernise and upgrade the country’s waste management system to the standards of the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €1.1 billion in 158 projects in Armenia’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of those investments in the private sector.

Background information on the EU

The EU is a key reform partner in Armenia. Its current, substantial Armenian portfolio focuses on supporting the government’s reform agenda, private-sector development, green growth, human capital and regional development. The EU has stepped up its support for Armenia, almost doubling its annual grant allocation to €65 million a year in 2019 and 2020. In addition, since 2014, more than €1 billion has been invested in the country in the form of blended loans and grants to support green growth, agriculture and the transport sector.

Background information on the E5P

The E5P is a multi-donor fund operating in the all of the Eastern Partnership countries. The EU is its largest overall contributor, with committed funds of €95 million annually. The EU has committed €10 million to the E5P in Armenia, boosted by additional commitments from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund. The pledged funds are to help Armenia improve its energy efficiency, energy security and economic competitiveness and boost policy dialogue, while having a positive impact on the environment. Armenia is also a contributor to the E5P, with committed funds of €1 million a year.

The main objective of the initiative is to use grants to leverage loans from international financial institutions for municipal energy-efficiency and environmental projects, such as the rehabilitation of water and wastewater systems, solid-waste management, street lighting and energy-efficiency measures in public buildings.

Source: www.ebrd.com

March 25, 2021 FRV reaches financial close with IFC, EBRD, and Ameriabank for largest Utility Scale Solar Power Plant in Armenia

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable energy projects, has closed the financing agreement for the development of the largest utility-scale solar power plant in Armenia, Ameriabank said today in a press release.

Located in Mets Masrik municipality, Gegharkunik region, the 55 MW solar power plant is the first-of-its-kind in the country, and it will help boost Armenia’s supply of renewable energy while reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

- The 55 MW Masrik-1 Solar Farm will produce enough clean energy to supply more than 20,000 homes and avoid the emission of over 40,000 tons of CO2 annually. 

- The project signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Electric Networks of Armenia which will distribute the electricity produced by the plant delivering significant benefits to the community. 

- IFC and EBRD will support the project with senior loans and an investment grant from the European Union, mobilised by EBRD . 

- Ameriabank will support the project with tailored VAT financing loan facility. 

This is currently the largest utility-scale solar power plant in Armenia. 

In 2018, FRV and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure signed a Government Support Agreement (GSA) to design, finance, build, own and operate the solar power plant with the support of the Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency (R2E2) Fund, the implementation agency authorized by the Government of Armenia. 

“Masrik-1” solar power plant will generate more than 128 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually at a competitive tariff of 41,9 USD/MWh. The electricity will be sold under a power purchase agreement to Electric Networks of Armenia, the utility company responsible for distribution of electricity in the country. The plant will produce enough energy to supply more than 20,000 Armenian households and is projected to avoid the release of over 40,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. 

The project is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU). They will extend up to USD 38.4 million financing structured in different tranches of debt. Ameriabank will provide AMD loan facility to finance company’s VAT needs. 

“Armenia has great potential when it comes to the development of renewable energy, in particular solar energy” said Tristán Higuero, Chief Operations Officer of FRV. “The financial close of our first solar project in the region is a milestone for FRV as it allows us to expand our reach worldwide. Through this project, we will contribute to the country’s sustainable economic growth through the generation of wealth and employment, helping to build a more sustainable future”. 

Artak Hanesyan, Ameriabank’s Chairman of the Management Board-CEO, highlighted the importance of the project and said that the renewable energy projects are a priority for the Bank: “We support international business in Armenia and have prioritized this project for its role in economic development, addressing environmental issues, creation of new job opportunities and improvement of the living standards in our country. We provided a loan to support development of the largest utility-scale solar power plant thus contributing to formation of a more independent and secure power system in Armenia”. 

According to Artak Hanesyan, Ameriabank has been actively supporting the Energy sector in the country through financing of hydropower plant (HPP) and solar power plant (SPP) projects: “Masrik-1 solar power plant is yet another daring and critical project for our country which, I am sure, will be a success due to our joint efforts”. 

Fady Jameel, Deputy President & Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said “Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, through FRV, is providing Armenia’s largest utility scale solar plant which is a testament to our commitment to developing the renewable energy sector. In finalizing this financial agreement for Masrik Solar Farm, we move closer towards our objectives and take pride in assisting Armenia’s shift towards a renewable future. 

FRV, part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy is a leading global renewable development company. Aligned with our ambition to be a leading player in the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future, FRV moved from a pure PV utility-scale developer to a renewable energy IPP (Independent Power Producer). We want to transform ourselves into the future’s main ‘green utility/energy platform’, therefore we have a rapid growth strategy that will be realized through project generation revenue, shareholder contributions and rotation of assets through minority stake sales and pipeline sales. To this end, FRV plans to invest over USD 1.5 billion in fixed assets to double the total installed capacity, from 2 GW in 2020 to 4 GW by 2024.   For more information please visit: www.frv.com 

Abdul Latif Jameel Energy was formed in 2012, and today is a leading, independent power producer, and a premier service provider of operations and maintenance in the renewable energy sector, with interests in 16 countries worldwide with capabilities in renewable energy including solar photovoltaic, wind, waste-to-energy, and environmental solutions including desalination, water and waste-water treatment.

For more information, please visit: www.alj.com/energy. For further inquiries contact our communications team on media@alj.ae or on +971 4 448 0906 

Ameriabank is a dynamically developing bank and one of the most stable financial institutions in Armenia. Ameriabank is a universal bank offering corporate, investment and retail services in a comprehensive set of banking solutions. For more information please visit www.ameriabank.am or call (+37410) 56 11 11. 

Ameriabank is supervised by the Central Bank of Armenia.

Source: arka.am

January 15, 2021 There is a problem of increasing the efficiency of water resources management

Prior to the launch of the new working year, Minister of Environment Romanos Petrosyan outlined the working directions that require utmost attention to the environment in 2021, including the issue of efficient changes in the water sector. The water sector must undergo radical reforms. The Minister held an extended working consultation with the heads of Department for licenses, permits and compliances, Water Policy Department, Strategic Policy Department, Coordinator of the sector, Deputy Minister  Tigran Simonyan, and the heads of 6 territorial water basin management divisions. 
Discussed the issue of accepting applications for water use permits, their assessment, extension, revision of the entire cancellation strategy, making amendments to the RA Water Code.
The existing amendments to the RA Water Code were frozen months ago, which were relaunched in the course of yesterday's meeting. The Ministry will come up with a package of new draft laws. The new water code must be comprehensive and in line with international standards.
A relevant working group will be established in a short period of time, addressed to revealing the existing legislative issues, thus proposing new legal regulations.
The Minister instructed the heads of the relevant territorial water basin management divisions and corresponding subdivisions  of the Ministry to inventory the problems, sort out the considerations and suggestions before sending the draft package to the government. All proposals should be in the context of overcoming the existing challenges, with scientific justification and balance the interests of environmental circles and entrepreneurs .
The meeting took a note of the programs targeted at the reforms of the water sphere, the steps to be assumed  and issues of certain structural changes.
Violations on water abstraction and ecological flows of HPPs were discussed; we must use the full potential of the rivers, strictly observing the environmental norms. Special reference was made to the catastrophic environmental situation in the gorge of Yeghegis River and the problem of inadmissible water scarcity in the river. Earlier, by the instruction of Minister Romanos Petrosyan, an interdepartmental working group was set up, which deals with the problems existing in the SHPPs located on Yeghegis River. The water use permits issued to 17 hydroelectric power plants located on Yeghegis River should be surveyed, the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in thereof should be revealed, the quantities defined by the water use permit should be reviewed and the volume of water abstraction actually done by SHPPs should be clarified.
Summing up the meeting, the Minister once again emphasized  that he attaches great importance to the coordinated work of the top management of the ministry, sectoral subdivisions  and subordinate subdivisions. "There should be a norm of responsibility, which will assist to solve the problems, to exclude their occurrence in the future. To date, there are certain phenomena are avoidable and rejected - from the issuance of water use permits to the water sector management. We must all act only for the sake of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens”.

Source: www.mnp.am

January 14, 2021 Armenian government approves strategic energy development program

The government of Armenia has approved today a strategic energy development program until 2040 and a timetable of measures designed for its implementation.

The main objective of the program is strategic planning of the energy sector given that the previous energy development documents have lost their relevance and there is a need to revise the strategy in accordance with the latest requirements.

The document outlines the main directions of development of the energy sector and the measures provided for their implementation.

The main directions are the maximum use of the potential of renewable energy, the implementation of energy saving opportunities, the extension of the service life of the second power unit of the Armenian nuclear power plant, the full implementation of the program for the construction of the North-South energy transit corridor, as well as the gradual liberalization of the Armenian energy market.

The program also indicates the main priorities in the development of the energy industry, production facilities, high-voltage and distribution networks, and the electric power market.

The document also provides for the development of regional cooperation in this area, focusing also on such issues as gas and heat supply, energy conservation and others.

Source: arka.am

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