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EA Energy Advisory

News Archive - 2015

 
December 23, 2015   Armenia, Iran, Georgia and Russia initiated energy projects of regional importance

Cooperation gains new momentum in energy sector between Armenia, Iran, Georgia and Russian Federation. Quadripartite meeting between Armenia, Iran, Georgia Energy Ministers and the director of “Russian Network” JSC was held on December 23. The parties signed a memorandum, which will raise the level of mutual energy supplies, energy efficiency systems, security and reliability.

Besides, a number of investment projects of regional importance are being prepared. “The four countries signed a memorandum on cooperation in energy systems. Today there are no opportunities for joint work in these four countries, and this memorandum will provide the mentioned opportunity,” Yervand Zakharyan Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said, as “Armenpress” reports.

He presented the capacity of energy system bandwidth and the planned investment projects on increasing the power. It is planned to put into operation 400/500 kV transmission line between Armenia and Georgia and insert a direct current substation by 2018. Besides, it is planned again to put into operation the Iran-Armenia 400 kV power transmission line in 2018. It will allow to flow up the energy with Iran up to 1200 MW.

According to Yerevan Zakharyan, an opportunity is created for countries for exchange electricity supply in the case of accidents, emergencies.

Source: armenpress.am

 
December 19, 2015   ”Grange Holding” plans to implement $400 million investment project in Armenia

Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan received the head of UK-based “Grange Holding” company Sheikh Assad on December 19, who plans to invest $400 million in thermal energy production. In this context the interlocutors discussed the implementation process of reached agreements and current works. As “Armenpress” was informed from the Information and Public Relations Department of the Government of Armenia, the head of ”Grange Holding” mentioned that the company does not intend to limit its activities with this investment project and is interested in expanding the fields of cooperation.

Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted the implementation of such a large project in the energetic sector of our country and expressed satisfaction over the practical steps taken in the direction. The PM also hailed the readiness of ”Grange Holding” to invest in other sectors of Armenia and mentioned that the Government is ready to develop the cooperation.

Source: armenpress.am

 
December 11, 2015   Armenia planning to attract $30 million from EBRD for repairing two 220-KWt electric power substations

Armenia is planning to attract $30 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for repairing two 220-KWt electric power substations – Ararat-2 and Yeghegnadzor.

It was said in the government-approved strategic program outlining ways of long-term development of Armenia’s energy system until 2036 that the sides has come to agreement that $20 million from the mentioned amount will be provided as loan and the remaining $10 million in grants.

The repair is planned to be over by 2019. These substations are located on the power transmission line connecting Armenian and Iranian energy systems.

Source: arka.am

 
December 10, 2015   World Bank to allocate US $50 million to Armenia

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$50 million loan for the Third Development Policy Financing (DPF-3) for Armenia to support a wide range of reforms promoting fiscal, social and environmental sustainability and strengthening competitiveness. As the World Bank’s Press Service informed “Armenpress”, this is the third in a programmatic series of four DPFs, supporting the Government of Armenia in meeting its strategic objective of job creation, which is the country’s overarching development challenge.

There are two pillars under this operation: the first one includes measures increasing the fiscal space, improving the financial sustainability of key sectors, enhancing the efficiency of social protection programs, and improving environmental and social safeguards in the mining industry, which accounts for over half of Armenia’s exports. The second pillar focuses on strengthening the business environment, improving trade facilitation and connectivity, and supporting access to credit.

Source: armenpress.am

 
December 9, 2015   KfW agreement signed to allocate €85,2 million to Armenia

The Minister of Finance of the Republic of Armenia Gagik Khachatryan, the Director of the Regional Energy Programs Department of the KfW Bank Jan Blum and the Director of the High Voltage Electric Networks CJSC Aram Ananyan signed on December 9 agreements on loans and programs.

The Department for Public Relations of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia informed Armenpress that the KfW Bank will allocate €85,2 million to Armenia in the frames of the Power Transmission in Caucasus Tranche I, €75 million – from its own funds and €10,2 million – from the financial funds, provided by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Earlier it was reported that the goal of the tranche is to connect the Armenian and Georgian energy systems with the 500/400/220 kW high-voltage current converter station stationed in Ayrum located near the Georgian border. The connection from the Georgian side will be through a 500 kW line from the Marneul substation, and the connection from the Armenian side will be through the 400 kW line from Hrazdan.

Source: armenpress.am

 
December 4, 2015   Government approves draft 83 million euro loan agreement with KfW

The government of Armenia approved Thursday a draft loan agreement with German state-owned KfW bank to the tune of 83 million euros for financing the second phase of the Caucasus Power Line program.

Finance minister Gagik Khachatryan said the loan is to be repaid within 15 years. It will be provided with a 5-year grace period and a fixed interest rate that will be approved at the time of the signing the agreement.

He said the loan will be used to build a substation in Ddmashen, new power lines, to rehabilitate and reconstruct power grids and to purchase new equipment and machinery. Part of the loan will be paid for consulting services.

The total cost of the Caucasus Power Lines program is 320 million euros. It is being implemented in three phases -the first was launched in 2014 and will end in 2018, the second phase will end in 2021 and the third in 2026.

In the first phase Armenian and Georgian energy systems will be united through a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line to be built in Armenian Ayrum on the border with Georgia. The new substation and the transmission line will enable Armenian and Georgian power grids to work in the same mode and make electricity swaps.

The total cost of the first phase of the project is 105.2 million euros. This phase is co-financed by the European Investment Bank (10 million euro loan), the EU Neighborhood Investment (a 10 million euro grant) and German KfW bank -83 million euros. The agreement with KfW was signed in 2014 December

Source: arka.am

 
November 26, 2015   French Development Agency to provide Armenia with 75 million euro loan for rehabilitation of Vedi water reservoir

The Armenian government on Thursday approved the signing of a 75 million euro loan agreement with the French Development Agency that will be used to rehabilitate the Vedi reservoir.

Finance minister Gagik Khachatryan said the loan is to be repaid within 20 years. It is provided with a six-year grace period and at an interest rate that can not be higher than 6.25% and less than 0.25%.

He said the project when completed will alleviate the problem of water shortage in the Ararat Valley and allow the transition from mechanical to the gravity irrigation system, which, in turn, will result in saving of electricity.

Prime minister Hovik Abrahamyan said the government included the rehabilitation and construction of water reservoirs in the list of its priorities. He ordered all relevant bodies to ensure that the rehabilitation of Vedi reservoir start in January or February next year.

Source: arka.am

 
November 25, 2015   Construction of gas distribution network in southern Armenian towns to resume in early December

An Armenian-Iranian project to build a natural gas distribution network for two southern Armenian towns of Meghri and Agarak will resume earlier next month, Armenia's energy and natural resources ministry said Tuesday.

The news was announced by Kh. Zamani, the chief manager of Iranian company Sanerdji, which is the contractor of the project, during his meeting in Yerevan with energy and natural resources minister Yervand Zakharyan.

Kh. Zamanai was quoted as saying in a ministry's press release that the Iranian company was bringing to Armenia the necessary equipment.

Zakaryan in turn was said to have stressed the need to speed up the construction of the distribution network and do the job efficiently and within the specified time.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed by the governments of Iran and Armenia in 2011 Iran pledged to provide Armenia with $2 million grant for the implementation of the project. The program was suspended after the Iranian side had stopped the funding.

Source: arka.am

 
October 16, 2015   Armenian Government and EIB sign $8 million agreement

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 8 million to finance the first phase of improvements to the solid waste disposal system in Yerevan and four surrounding regions. 

The project concerns the construction of a sanitary landfill, closure of the existing landfill and the implementation of waste diversion measures in the capital of Armenia and surrounding regions, serving a population of 1.9 million.

EIB Vice-President László Baranyay, responsible for the Bank’s financing operations in Armenia, stated: “This is the first EIB loan supporting solid waste management in the Eastern Partnership region. It concerns key social infrastructure, highly relevant for the quality of life and health conditions of almost two million people. This project is an example of excellent cooperation between the EIB, regional players, the European Commission and partner IFIs.”

The project is co-financed by a EUR 8 million European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan with a EUR 1.9 million technical assistance grant, and a EUR 8 million grant from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). The EIB is expected to provide EUR 17 million in total to support the project, the EUR 8 million loan signed today representing only the support for the first phase of the project.

H.E. Mr Piotr Antoni Switalski, Ambassador, and Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Armenia, said: "The European Union is committed to supporting initiatives that ensure improved solid waste management in Armenia and in the region. This is our third financial grant to the Armenian Government in this field. I am delighted that following regional initiatives in Kotayk and Vanadzor, we are now providing financial assistance to ensure improved living conditions for the citizens of Yerevan.”

To date, the EIB has signed 11 loans in Armenia totaling EUR 220 million. The portfolio is well diversified across transport, energy and water and waste treatment infrastructure as well as SME support. 

Background information:

The EIB – the European Union’s bank – finances projects in Armenia on the basis of an EU Council and European Parliament mandate for the countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood. The 2014-2020 mandate enables the EIB to provide financing of up to EUR 4.8 billion under an EU guarantee to support projects of significant interest to both the EU and its Eastern Neighbours in the areas of local private sector development, social and economic infrastructure and climate change. In addition, the Bank has set up a EUR 3 billion own-risk Neighbourhood Finance Facility to enhance its support for the Neighbourhood Countries.

Source: armenpress.am

 
October 15, 2015   EBRD allots 1,9 € million for Yerevan energy-saving lighting network

The loan agreement "Municipal lighting project of Yerevan" will be signed between Yerevan, “Yerkaghluys” CJSC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the framework of which EBRD will allot 1 million 900 thousand euro  to Armenia from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund.

“Armenpress” reports that the Government of the Republic of Armenia confirmed in October 15 sitting the issue introduced by Republic of Armenia Minister of Finance Gagik Khachatryan.

The main aim of the program is to implement energy-saving and safe outdoor lighting network in Yerevan. It is particularly planned to replace pillars in 28 streets, lay cables underground, use energy-saving lamps, as well as to invest automated management system.

According to the agreement, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will allocate a loan of 4 million USD to Armenia. Capital cost of the project forms about $6 million.

The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund will provide Armenia with 1,9 € million funding.

Source: armenpress.am

 
October 5, 2015   Iran to boost gas exports to, energy imports from Armenia

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh met with Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Yervand Zakharyan, on Sunday, October 4, in Tehran. The parties agreed to increase Iran’s gas exports to Armenia and electricity imports from the country, Mehr news agency reports. Zanganeh said the details of growth in Iran-Armenia transactions will be further discussed by the two sides.

The Iranian minister also added that First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri is scheduled to visit Armenia to meet with Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan in the near future. Iran and Armenia signed a deal in 2004 over the export of Iranian gas to the country. The annual capacity of the Iran-Armenia Natural Gas Pipeline is about 2.3 billion cubic meters.

Earlier this September, Armenian Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Areg Galstyan said current annual exports of electricity - 1.8 billion kWh - can be increased to 6.9 billion KWh. According to reports, Iran and Armenia are now building a third high-voltage electricity transmission line, set to be completed by 2018.

Managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) said, in turn, the country is ready to increase natural gas exports to Armenia, Press TV reports. Alireza Kameli made the remarks in an interview with Iranian Oil Ministry's official Shana news agency following the meeting between Zangeneh and Zakharyan.

He added that the pipeline taking Iran's gas to Armenia is capable of transmitting more than six million cubic meters of natural gas per day, but is currently taking only one million cubic meters. “Since Armenia lacks necessary infrastructure, the country is currently unable to take full advantage of the capacity of the pipeline,” Kameli said.

Source: panarmenian.net

 
September 27, 2015   German KfW bank to assist Armenia in implementation of energy projects

Dirk Schattschneider, head of the Division for the South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, South-Caucasus of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, who was in a German KfW bank delegation that visited Armenia last week, said KfW is interested in the implementation of energy conservation and renewable energy projects in Armenia, at a meeting with Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan last Friday, the Armenian ministry said.

It quoted minister Zakharyan as saying that the Armenian side stands ready for the implementation of such projects. He also thanked the German government and KfW Bank for assistance, noting that the KfW-financed construction of a power transmission line from Georgia to Armenia with 400 kW capacity proceeds well. He stressed the importance of the project in terms of the integration of energy systems of the region.

The total cost of this program is 320 million Euros.  The program will be implemented in three phases -the first was launched in 2014 and will end in 2018, the second phase will end in 2021 and the third in 2026.

In the first phase Armenian and Georgian energy systems will be united through a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line to be built in Armenian Ayrum on the border with Georgia. The  new substation and the transmission line will enable Armenian and Georgian power grids  to  work in the same mode and make electricity swaps.

The total cost of the first phase of the project  105.2 million Euros. This phase is co-financed by the European Investment Bank (10 million euro loan) and the EU Neighborhood Investment (10 million euro grant).  Another 85.2 million euro loan is to be  provided by German KfW bank. The agreement with KfW was signed in 2014 December and the agreement with European Investment Bank was signed in 2015 March.

Source: arka.am

 
August 22, 2015   Armenia energy production is higher than EU average

The “Yeghvard” youth and environment NGO of Armenia, together with the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia (FYCA), is participating in the CLEEN 2015 project. 

The objective of CLEEN 2015 is to provide the NGOs from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Armenia the necessary knowledge about saving energy and energy policy, increase their participation in the respective decision-making and political discourse, and monitor the governments’ relative actions.

Armenia’s energy production is about 2.6 times higher than the average indicators in the European Union (EU). The country also has numerous resources of virtually all types of renewable energy plus an untapped potential for saving energy in buildings. 

As per CLEEN 2015 manager Levon Igityan, four workshop trainings are planned to be conducted before December 31.

The current phase is aimed at creating a regional cooperation network between the NGOs of the four aforesaid countries.

Source: news.am

 
August 17, 2015   Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex Acquisition Largest U.S. Private Investment in Armenia

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan welcomed on Friday the $180 million sale of Armenia’s largest hydroelectric complex to an American firm, underscoring Washington’s strong support for the first-ever major Western investment in Armenia’s energy sector. “We are very pleased by the news that the U.S. company ContourGlobal and the Republic of Armenia have announced the completion of the acquisition of the assets of the Vorotan hydroelectric facility, a series of three individual power plants on the Vorotan River,” the embassy said on its Facebook page.

“The acquisition represents the largest single U.S. private investment in Armenia’s history and the first U.S. investment in Armenia’s energy sector,” it stressed. Under a takeover agreement with the Armenian government signed on June 8, ContourGlobal is to pay $180 million for the Vorotan complex and invest $70 million in its modernization.The energy company announced earlier this week that it has ceded a 20 percent stake in the Soviet-built facility to the Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Richard Mills, was present at the signing ceremony in Yerevan. Mills also attended a meeting between Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and Joseph Brandt, ContourGlobal’s chief executive, held earlier on June 8. The Vorotan deal was initially finalized in January 2014. However, Abrahamian put it on hold shortly after being appointed as prime minister in April 2014.

The move fueled speculation that Russia, which owns much of the Armenian energy sector through state-run Russian companies, is pressuring the Armenian government to annul Vortan’s sell-off. The government denied such pressure, saying that it only wants to renegotiate some terms of the deal running counter to Armenian law. Speaking in July 2014, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, John Heffern, warned that scrapping the deal would send a “very unfortunate signal” to Western investors and call into question Armenia’s ability to do business with them.

Source: massispost.com

 
August 17, 2015   United States Department of Energy urged to make investments in renewable energy in Armenia

Investment Framework Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Armenia will provide a possibility of strengthening bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries, developing the economy of Armenia as the freest in the region. The ANCA Responsible for Media Elizabeth Chuljian expressed such an opinion in her talk with Armenpress.

“Mutually beneficial trade ties will contribute to strengthening the bilateral relations between the governments of the USA and Armenia. Most importantly this will contribute to passing from assistance to tradebased relations between the USA and Armenia”, she said, adding that the delegation of US Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships will arrive in Armenia in October. The latter will study the possibilities of investments in the sphere of renewable energy.

The ANCA has called on improvement of ArmenianAmerican economic relations since 2005. “The United States Department of State and Energy urged the American investors interested in renewable energy to visit Armenia in October and make investments there.”, said Chuljian. According to her, the ANCA will continue working on signing a new tax agreement between the USA and Armenia. “We want to make sure that the American investors, doing business in Armenia, will not be obliged to pay double taxes. We must sign a new agreement for that. The current document is not sufficient.”

Source: armenpress.am

 
August 2, 2015   Iran keen on boosting ties with Armenia: Vice president

Iran's First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has called for the expansion of ties between Iran and Armenia in all fields.

“Both countries can take effective steps to [serve] the two nations’ interests through the expansion of ties and bolstering cooperation,” Jahangiri said in a Sunday phone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan.

The Iranian official pointed to the growing relations between the two sides, saying that given the two countries' existing potential, their relations can further improve in a range of areas.

Jahangiri expressed Iran’s readiness to bolster cooperation with Armenia in different sectors including energy, power generation and transmission as well as transit of commodities and passengers through Iran, Armenia and Georgia.

Abrahamyan, for his part, called for expansion of cooperation with Iran in different fields.

The Armenian premier expressed hope that officials of Iran, Armenia and Georgia would hold a meeting to prepare the ground for improvement of transit cooperation.

Source: world.einnews.com

 
July 31, 2015   World Bank Supports Further Improvement of Armenia’s Rural Roads Network

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$40 million loan for the Additional Financing of the Lifeline Road Network Improvement Project (LRNIP) for Armenia. This project will further assist the Government of Armenia in its on-going efforts to improve accessibility to markets and social services through the rehabilitation of an additional 155 km of the lifeline road network, and enhance employment opportunities, mostly for the rural population. It will also help Armenia to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) in road safety and management of the road network, including disaster risk preparedness.

Despite visible improvement since 2009, about half of the lifeline roads in Armenia remain in poor condition and there is still an important investment backlog for rehabilitation and maintenance. Trade facilitation and connecting local production to markets remain paramount in reducing rural poverty and promoting economic growth. Trade from rural areas is less than optimal due to restricted connectivity to markets as a result of the poor condition of roads. This has hindered trade facilitation for rural farmers, resulting in substantial crop losses for some communities due to an inability to get produce to markets on time. 

“As in the case of the original project, rehabilitation of additional lifeline roads would create temporary jobs in rural areas, and improve access to basic social services,” saidLaura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “It is vital that rural infrastructure is improved and maintained to promoteAGRICULTURAL TRADE, thus stimulating economic growth and local employment for the future.”

The implementation of the original project has progressed well. The proposed additional financing will raise the total length of roads to 360 km, 73 km of which have already been rehabilitated. Since the launch of the Lifeline Road Improvement Project (LRIP) in 2009, the previous series of projects, there has been a noticeable improvement in local employment, while journey time has declined on average by 40 percent. The World Bank-financed LRIP for a total amount of US$101.6 million has already upgraded 433 km of lifeline roads across the regions.

The Additional Financing of the LRNIP has two main components. First, it will supportlifeline road improvement with rehabilitation of 155 km of roads, located across the regions including through rehabilitation and maintenance contracts, which have been successfully piloted. A new Contingent Emergency Response (CER) sub-component is being introduced, as a precautionary measure that would allow the Government and the Bank to quickly channel the loan financing for emergency recovery efforts following an adverse natural or man-made disaster. 

Secondly, in terms of institutional strengthening, it would finance: (i) preparation of a social monitoring and impact evaluation study; (ii) preparation of a strategic development plan for the lifeline road network; (iii) lifeline road network data collection for the Road Asset Management System (RAMS); (iv) development of a new road safety action plan and the implementation of selected activities; (v) technical assistance with regard to disaster risk preparedness for the road sector; (vi) purchase of road laboratory equipment for determining the chemical composition of bitumen; and (vii) installation of road safety signs. 

“The sections of rehabilitated network help farmers and small businesses in rural areas to bring their produce to market more easily and at a lower cost,” added Maria Carolina Monsalve, Head of the World Bank project team. “The project will also continue supporting the “Safe Village” program through small road safety civil works combined with awareness campaigns at community level. While four schemes were envisaged by the end of the original project, a total of thirteen have been completed to date.”

The first year program of road works is comprised of seven road sections located in five regions, with the remaining road sections to be identified during project implementation. The seven road sections total 50.5 km: all roads are bituminous roads in poor to very poor condition and serve in total 183,446 persons.

Total financing of this project is US$45 million, of which US$5 million will be the Government’s contribution. The World Bank will provide a US$40 million IBRD loan of variable spread, with a 14.5-year grace period and a total repayment term of 25 years.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, the commitments to Armenia total approximately US$2,158.730 million.

Source: worldbank.org

 
July 25, 2015   $58mln renewable energy project launched in Armenia

Tamara Babayan, the director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, has announced Friday, July 24, the launch of a $58 million worth investment project designed to help advance Armenia’s renewable energy sector, Arka reports.

The project is being implemented by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund with the support of the Climate Investment Fund, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The project was approved in June 2014 by the Climate Investment Funds and in September it was discussed in detail with the representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The project’s duration is 5-6 years, Babayan told a news conference.

"The main elements of the project will be launched in 2017. By 2020, we expect to have solar power stations with the total capacity of 40-50 MW," she said, according to Arka.

One of the project’s components is geothermal exploratory drilling in the southern Armenian province of Syunik to explore the geothermal energy potential. Before the winter, a road will be built to the drilling site, Babayan said.

According to her, alternative energy, in terms of imminent rise in electricity prices and revolutionary changes in solar energy production technology makes it more profitable and attractive from the investment point of view.

The main source of electricity in Armenia today is the nuclear power plant, which accounts for about 30% of the total electricity generated in the country; thermal power plants which account for 42% and hydropower plants, which generate 29%. Renewable energy sources accounted for 13% of the total energy produced in Armenia in 2013.

The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 63 developing and middle income countries with urgently needed resources to mitigate and manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2008, the CIF has been championing innovative country-led investments in clean technology, renewable energy, sustainable management of forests, and climate-resilient development. Fourteen contributor countries have pledged a total of $8.1 billion to the CIF, which is expected to leverage an additional $57 billion from other sources. The largest donors are the United States, Britain, Japan and Australia.

Source: panarmenian.net

 
July 15, 2015   Iran nuclear deal agreement will open up new opportunities for Armenia

Iran’s nuclear deal agreement opens up enormous opportunities for Armenia, says Paul Stronski, a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In an interview with Voice of America, the analyst said Armenia can deepen cooperation with Iran in economic, commercial spheres if the agreement is implemented and certain sanctions [imposed on Iran] are lifted.

“Due to the sanctions, the trade with Iran comprises only 5 percent of Armenia’s foreign trade, so if the sanctions are lifted, new opportunities will open up for Armenia,” Paul Stronski said.

In addition, he says, Armenia will have a real chance to bring Iranian gas to Europe through its territory, even if Russia is against it. “I definitely encourage Armenia to discuss with Georgia and Iran the possibility of delivering Iranian gas through its territory,” he said.

The analyst believes that the agreement will, on the whole, contribute to peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

Stephen Blank, a former military expert, a senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council, holds a different opinion on the agreement: he thinks everything depends on Tehran.  He says of part of the sanctions are abolished Iran will have the right to freely sell oil and gas which will bring the country an estimated income of $ 150 billion. The analyst says Iran can use some of the money to increase its influence among its neighboring countries.

“Iran will try to increase its role and influence in the South Caucasus, but the country is likely to do it in more civilized methods,” Stephen Blank stressed.

The analyst thinks that the agreement may change Iran for the better and the country may try to spread the positive changes in its neighboring countries. At the same time, Nr Blank does not exclude that Iran may adhere to the same principles and use petrodollars to sponsor terrorist organizations, Hezbollah and Hamas.

“If Iran remains committed to the principles of good neighborhood and does not try to organize a regime change in its neighboring countries, which is still unknown to us, this nuclear deal agreement will have a positive impact on the South Caucasus, otherwise its influence will be negative,” the analyst said. Both experts believe that Armenian-Iranian relations will only develop after the ratification of the agreement.

Source: world.einnews.com

 
July 15, 2015   Armenia can become gateway to Europe for Iranian natural gas

Armenia can become a transit way to Europe for Iranian natural gas if it displays ample independence for participation in construction of a gas pipeline sidetracking Russia, Zhamanak says. 

The newspaper says a rally in Iran's economy and the lifted sanctions against the country will have favorable impacts also on relations between Iran and Armenia.    

Armenian companies and financial organizations were cautious before in cooperating with Iran, while now no obstacles will be on their way.  

Besides, the significance of Iran's role as a regional superpower will rise as well casting shade on Turkey. And this is important for Armenia.

Source: groong.usc.edu

 
June 17, 2015   KfW to lend 205 mln euros and to grant 4.8 mln euros to Armenia for a number of programs

German KfW will provide a 205 million euros soft loan and a grant worth about 4.8 million euros to Armenia for a number of programs.

The respective agreement was signed by the minister of finance Gagik Khachatryan and German ambassador to Armenia Rayner Morel in Yerevan yesterday, the press office of Armenia’s ministry of finance reported.

The grant will be spent on implementation and coordination of a number of programs, including “Financing of housing areas, stage 4”, “Efficient energy use in micro, small and medium enterprises”, “Modernization at schools to enhance energy efficiency”, “Integrate water management on Akhuryan river, phase 2” and “Municipal structures, stage 2”.

The soft loan funds will be used for implementation of the same programs, as well as for “Caucasus energy union, phase 3” (high-voltage electricity lines between Armenia and Georgia).

Source: world.einnews.com

 
June 8, 2015   Amended, finalized contract of sale of property of Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex signed in Government

Abrahamyan, the amended and finalized contract of sale of property of Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex was signed in the Office of Government between the Republic of Armenia, Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex, Contour Global Hydro Cascade, Contour Global Terra Holdings and CG Solutions Global Holding Company. The document was signed by Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan, Contour Global Hydro Cascade and Contour Global Terra Holdings companies’ authorized person/representative and CG Solutions Global Holding Company Chief Executive Officer Joseph Brandt, Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex CEO Sasun Khachatryan.

Prior to the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received CG Solutions Global Holding Company Chief Executive Officer Joseph Brandt. The Prime Minister welcomed the signing of the contract of sale of property of Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex as an important step towards strengthening bilateral economic relations.

In terms of expanded economic ties between the two countries, the Prime Minister highlighted the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in Washington, DC in the month of May, which creates favorable conditions for attracting investment, promoting trade and trade turnover. Joseph Brandt described the signing of the contract of sale of property of Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex as unprecedented and stressed that they are interested in making large-scale investment in order to upgrade and put into full-fledged operations Vorotan Hydroelectric Complex.

Both sides expressed mutual appreciation for effective joint work and reaffirmed their readiness to continue endeavoring along the lines of transparent and constructive partnership.

Source: gov.am

 
June 8, 2015   World Bank Supports Exploration of Geothermal Resources in Armenia

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$8.55 million grant for the Geothermal Exploratory Drilling Project (GEDP) for Armenia. The new project is to confirm whether the geothermal resource at the Karkar field is suitable for power generation and, if confirmed, to involve the private sector in the development of a geothermal power plant.

The objective of the Government is to construct a geothermal power plant at the Karkar site in Sjunik region upon the confirmation of the availability of the resource. Unlike other renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar, and hydro, it is not possible to validate the geothermal resource with sufficient confidence for commercial development without performing exploratory drillings at depth to assess specific parameters of the geothermal field. 

The selection of the Karkar site for exploratory drilling is based on field investigation works completed for two prospective sites, which were deemed the most promising by the local and international geothermal experts. The field investigation works at the prospective sites were supported under the Armenia Geothermal Project, financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and completed in 2012. 

“By investing in exploration that can lead to the first commercial project, we can help build domestic capacity for the development of additional geothermal resources at other prospective sites. The total potential for geothermal power in Armenia is currently estimated at around 150 megawatt,” said Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “A successful project of this type will also strengthen the investor confidence that geothermal is a viable and profitable investment opportunity in the country.”

The Government will use Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) resources for Stage 1 of the Karkar geothermal project to carry out the exploratory drilling and, if the resource is confirmed, to assess the feasibility of a geothermal power plant at Karkar and support involvement of the private sector for the full development of the geothermal power project. 

Stage 2 of the Karkar project would be the construction of a geothermal power plant. The early-stage analyses suggested that a 28 MW geothermal power plant with a total estimated cost of US$90-100 million could potentially be constructed at the site. The potential geothermal power plant could be developed with a mix of public and private capital. In addition. The development of geothermal power would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“If adequate geothermal resources are confirmed, then future construction of a geothermal power plant would help the Government to meet the forecasted electricity demand and improve the energy security and independence of the country,” said Arthur Kochnakyan, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project. “Low-cost electricity from a potential geothermal plant can help keep the electricity affordable for the poor.”

The R2E2 Fund will implement the project since it has the required capacity and experience in implementing Bank financed projects. The Fund is a non-profit organization established by the Government in 2005 with the mandate to promote the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in Armenia and to facilitate investments in these sectors.

Source: worldbank.org

 
June 2, 2015   Plan to extend operation of Armenian nuclear plant block cost-effective – Rosatom director

The project to extend the operation of the Metsamor nuclear power plant has for a long period been successfully implemented, Kiril Komarov, Director for International Business and Development, Rosatom company, told Tert.am on the sidelines of the 7th international forum, Atomexpo-2015.

In response to a question about an agreement on the extension of operation of the 2nd power unit of the Metsamor nuclear-power plant, Mr Komarov said: “All the fundamental decisions pertaining to the project were made late last year, when an Armenian-Russian intergovernmental agreement was signed, which envisaged Russia’s assistance to Armenia in extending the operation of the Metsamor nuclear-power plant. Later, as you know, an intergovernmental agreement was signed under which Russia was to grant an interstate loan of about US $300m, and give a grant, to Armenia. ” The main factor in launching the project was the fact that Armenia’s Parliament ratified the agreement, which is in effect now.

“Our Constitution in Russia does not require ratification; for Russia, they entered into effect after being signed. We were waiting for ratification by Armenia; that’s the reason there are no obstacles in terms of implementing the project,” Komarov said. He added that large-scale work had been carried out before the documents’ ratification in back in autumn. “The relations between Russia and Armenia are so much based on partnership and friendship that we understand how important it was to complete all the activities towards exploiting the nuclear power station in time. There were a number of other activities, the preparation of the documents that we started last autumn to justify the reasons for prolonging the exploitation timeframes,” he added.

Komarov said he finds that the project, which is being successfully implemented, gives absolutely no ground for concern. “Armenia will not definitely remain without that power unit; we do understand how important it is for Armenia as it produces 25% of the country’s energy. As for Russia, Rosatom will invest its best efforts to prepare the documents justifying the prolongation of timeframes and guaranteeing security-related issues. They will provide a description as to the necessary steps towards renovating the station or replacing equipment to enable its successful operation in the 5-10 or even 15 years to come,” he added.

Komarov said he finds that the project to upgrade the operating power unit is practically more cost-effective than an initiative to construct a new one.

Source: tert.am

 
May 21, 2015   Armenia to receive 7 mln euros from EBRD for solid waste management

The Armenian parliament has ratified the agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development about 7 million euros to be provided for solid waste management in Kotayk region. The agreement was signed on December 19, 2014. 

According to the agreement, 3.5 million euros will be provided to Armenia in grant, the remaining funds will come in loan. The interest rate will be floating, 0.5% per annum, Armenia’s first deputy minister of territorial administration and emergencies Vache Terteryan said. 

Kotayk communities are well aware of the loan payment calculations and are ready to repay it, the deputy minister said. All that money will be spent to build a new landfill and to procure equipment, Terteryan said. 

The program will be effective, according to the deputy minister. The implementation process will be quite transparent and controllable, Terteryan said. 

The opposition MPs expressed concerns over the communities’ ability to pay against the loan and on efficiency and transparency of the program on the other hand.

Source: ebrd.einnews.com

 
May 18, 2015   Iran, Georgia, Armenia to exchange electricity

Iran’s deputy energy minister says Iran, Georgia and Armenia will soon start trilateral cooperation on electricity exchange. “Through Armenia, we can have energy exchange with Georgia,” Hooshang Falahatian said in a Monday meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mariam Valishvili in Tehran.

The Iranian official also reiterated that, if necessary, Tehran is ready to invest in Georgia’s energy sector and build power plants and electricity transmission lines in the former Soviet Union republic, IRNA reported. Falahatian also pointed to the planned construction of a170 kilometer transmission line in Armenia and said after the completion of the project, which will take two years, Iran will be able to have power exchange with Tajikistan.

Meanwhile, Georgian deputy energy minister expressed the hope that Iranian companies would have a more active presence in Georgia’s energy sector. Mariam Valishvili also referred to the upcoming trilateral meeting to be held by Iran, Georgia and Azerbaijan later this year and said the event will provide a good chance for reviewing investment opportunities in Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Iran has energy exchange with Armenia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted major investments for the construction of three new power plants.

Source: world.einnews.com

 
May 11, 2015   Pilot project brings modern street lighting to Armenia’s capital city

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing $4 million for a pilot project which will enable Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, to modernise its street lighting system by introducing new energy-efficient technologies. 

The EBRD’s sovereign loan will be on-lent to the Street Lighting Company owned by the city of Yerevan. The loan is expected to be complemented by a capital grant of up to $2 million from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P). Technical cooperation for project preparation was financed by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the EBRD’s own resources. 

Yerevan has a population of 1.1 million, roughly one-third of the total population of Armenia, and the street lighting network consists of old, inefficient and environmentally polluting mercury-based lights. The heavy-metal based content of the current lighting system contributes to energy waste and is a considerable environmental hazard. Due to the antiquated condition of the current system and the high percentage of lights that are not working, large parts of the city are not sufficiently illuminated. 

To overcome this problem the pilot project will introduce new energy-efficient LED lighting, a control and monitoring system, pole replacement and renovation as well as power cable replacement. This will result in better service quality and improved environmental standards due to reduced energy consumption and the minimisation of operating and maintenance costs. Lighter streets will also be safer for pedestrians and motorists alike. 

Mark Davis, EBRD Head of Office in Yerevan, said: “We welcome this project and are pleased to support it with financial means as well as technical assistance. The new street lighting will contribute to Yerevan’s goal of reducing its CO2 emissions, while at the same time significantly reducing the city’s energy bill. In addition, the project will contribute to the comfort and safety of residents.” 

Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €900 million in more than 135 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 87 per cent of investments being in the private sector.

Source: ebrd.com

 
May 07, 2015   Armenian nuclear power plant to be brought to six-month halt in 2017

Armenia’s nuclear power plant in  Metamora will be brought to a six-month halt in 2017 for preparation to extend its service life until 2027, the press service of the government  said today following prime minister Hovik Abrahamyan's visit to the facility.

It said Abrahamyan was told about the work underway to extend the service life of the plant and improve its safety.

On February 5, Armenia and Russia signed an agreement, whereby Russia will provide Armenia with a  $270 million loan and a $30 million  grant for extension of the service life of the nuclear power plant. The loan will be extended for 15 years with a five-year grace period and  3 percent annual interest rate. The agreements were approved by Armenian parliament on May 5.

Russia has also expressed willingness to contribute to the construction of a new unit for the plant  estimated to cost $4.5 billion. Armenia expects to receive some financial assistance from other countries as well.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. The plant currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity.

Source: leds.am

 
April 30, 2015   Construction of new reservoirs in Armenia funded by Germany and France

Armenia continues successfully designing two large reservoirs, head of state committee of water resources Aram Harutyunyan said, answering the question by the Armenian News – NEWS.am correspondent. He noted that two out of four large reservoirs planned for the construction or reconstruction are being designed.

“If the plans go as scheduled, in 2016 we could already begin to build reservoirs,” he said. The Kaps reservoir on the river Akhuryan in the north of Armenia is funded by German KfW bank, while Vedi reservoir in Ararat Valley by the French Development Agency.

Source: news.am

 
April 29, 2015   Armenia's Wind Energy Potential Estimated At 250-400 Megawatts

Armenia’s wind energy potential is estimated at 250-400 megawatts, including 250 proven megawatts, deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan told a parliament Q&A session today.

He said the only wind farm in Armenia does not operate steadily due to problems with air flows. He said wind farms may develop if favorable conditions are created for investors.

The only wind farm in Armenia is located in the northern province of Lori. It consists of four 660-kW wind turbines and has a capacity of 2.64 MWe. It was completed in December 2005 by the Iranian company Sunir with US$3.2 million funding from Iran.

Source: arka.am

 
April 29, 2015   Armenia Plans To Commission Up To 70 Megawatt Solar Power Stations By 2025

Armenia plans to commission up to 70 megawatt solar power stations by 2025, deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan told a parliament Q&A session today. According to him, so far no serious solar energy project has been implemented in Armenia, largely due to the fact that solar power stations are still quite expensive.

He said the Asian Development Bank has financed a study to choose the most suitable equipment for production of solar energy and the best locations, which will allow to commission solar power stations with the combined capacity of 70 megawatts by 2025.

According to him, the cost of one KWh of electricity generated by solar power station is 15 US cents, significantly up from the cost of electricity generated by thermal, hydro or nuclear power plants. He said also the government is working to raise funds to provide them as soft loans to power solar plants to help them reduce the cost of one KWh to US 10 cents by 2025.

According to the ministry of energy and natural resources, construction of the first photovoltaic power plant with 30 MW capacity is scheduled to start in Armenia until 2016. This year the government will launch a $26 million worth project financed by the Climate Investment Fund aimed at the development of solar energy.

The most popular alternative sources of energy production r in Armenia are small hydropower plants. There is also a wind power plant, which produces only 0.03% of the total electricity

Source: groong.usc.edu

 
April 27, 2015   Double nature conservation event in the children’s rehabilitation center in Kosh

ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK has installed solar water heaters in the children’s rehabilitation center, named after Armenak and Anna Tadevosyan, in Kosh, which will ensure permanent hot water in the center for daily medical procedures of children.

Besides, this solar energy-saving equipment will significantly reduce the expenses of the center, as well as they will ensure the optimization of the use of the available resources.

The employees of ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK and the rehabilitation center also organized tree planting on the territory of the children’s rehabilitation center, during which they planted 100 trees.

Source: acba.am

 
April 16, 2015   Gazprom Armenia to invest $49.3 million in construction of new sport and education complex in Yerevan

Gazprom Armenia CJSC will invest $49.3 million in construction of a new sport and education complex in Yerevan, the press office of the city municipality reported on Tuesday after the city council's session, where the council members approved the construction project.

The complex will be built in the suburb of Yerevan, in Tsarav Akhbyur Street.

The complex will consist of a school, kindergarten, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a playground for mini football, an indoor artificial ice rink, an underground car parking place and leisure zone.

The project is estimated to create 236 new jobs. Gazprom Armenia CJSC, a subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom, is the sole importer and distributer of Russia's natural gas in Armenia.

Source: arka.am

 
April 16, 2015   President Serzh Sargsyan receives Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee Alexey Miller

President Serzh Sargsyan today received Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of OAO Gazprom. The interlocutors discussed issues pertaining to the current level of Armenia-Russia cooperation in the energy sphere and its development prospects.

Stressing that Armenia and Russia continue to dynamically develop and strengthen their strategic partnership, the Armenian President laid special emphasis on its economic component where the gas and energy sphere plays a major role. Serzh Sargsyan praised the activities carried out by Gazprom through Gazprom Armenia, a leading company in Armenia’s economy, which directly affects the development of other economic branches. Serzh Sargsyan awarded Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of OAO Gazprom, the Order of Friendship, taking into account the company’s activities and his significant contribution to the development and reinforcement of economic ties between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation and to the strengthening of friendship between the Armenian and Russian peoples.

Alexey Miller expressed his thanks to the Armenian President for the honorable decoration and the recognition of the company’s activities, as well as for attending today the groundbreaking ceremony of a training complex to be built in Yerevan in the frame of the Gazprom for Children program. He assured that Gazprom is always ready to fulfill all its tasks in Armenia with great responsibility and within the deadlines, thereby also contributing to the further reinforcement of Armenian-Russian interstate relations.

At the meeting, Alexey Miller introduced the Armenian President to the activities that the company is currently carrying out in our country and the upcoming programs in which, according to him, social security programs hold an important place.

Source: president.am

 
April 14, 2015   New loan for solar water heaters to be introduced

By the agreement signed within the framework of “Support for Renewable Energy” loan program of KfW German Bank and Central Bank of Armenia, the new loan aimed at solar water heaters will soon be available. Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan spoke on this subject noting that it will be issued by the allocations of the abovementioned program’s third phase.

“The first and second phases of the program were aimed at small HPPs, while the third was aimed at the development of other renewable energy sources. After long studies and discussions we arrived at the conclusion that presently solar water heaters are the most rapidly developing, are beneficial and have great potential for efficiency,” said Hayk Harutyunyan. Our interlocutor noted that the new loan product for solar water heaters will come in Armenian dram.

“The Central Bank of Armenia will set 10.5% maximum interest rate for private banks. The loan maturity will depend on the program’s payback period – if the program ensures the payback in five years, which is an accepted term for such systems, the maturity will be five years. The loan product will be offered by almost all banks and several leasing companies already cooperating with the Central Bank,” said the Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. Hayk Harutyunyan noted that in case of loans lower than a certain volume the mandatory 70%/30% co-funding requirement will be canceled.

“This loan product will enable the borrower to get a solar water heater without any initial payment and if the system is properly installed, then the borrower will pay for his loan commitments solely at the expense of savings. We do our best for the borrower not to “carry” extra load,” said the Deputy Minister. According to him, the legal framework is regulated, and the loan will be available in the coming months.

Speaking about the expected results, Hayk Harutyunyan added: “Once the loan is introduced, we expect solar water heaters to be widely used. We estimate it can address the population’s warm water needs, and result in 80% (on average) gas saving.”

Source: banks.am

 
April 10, 2015   ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK launches low-interest 'saving loans' program for introduction of energy-efficient technologies

Speaking at a news conference, ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK CEO Hakob Andreasyan said the Bank is launching a program designed to provide low-interest 'saving loans' for introduction of energy-efficient technologies.

He said the loans' repayable term is 8 years and the minimum amount is $30,000. He did not say what the maximum amount is. Andreasyan explained that the program also provides for loans, 10% of which will be provided as grants.

"We expect this program to attract a great number of borrowers,' said Andreasyan. The press conference followed a discussion on the introduction of energy-saving technologies with local business people, organized by ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK. Andreasyan said energy efficiency measures are getting popular not only with industrial enterprises but also financial and other organizations. According to him, they are beneficial not only in terms of environment, but also in terms of finance saving.

Andreasyan said before offering energy-efficient programs the Bank had introduced solar heaters in its branches, several schools and kindergartens, because 'we wanted to serve as an example and to demonstrate their effectiveness.' According to Andreasyan, to implement this program the bank established cooperation with the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as with "EnergoCredit" fund.

ACBA was established in 1996 as part of EU’s TACIS program. As a result of a long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation between ACBA Bank and the French Credit Agricole the latter became the biggest shareholder of ACBA in 2006, September. ACBA was restructured, becoming a closed joint stock company and was renamed ACBA CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK. According to the latest data, the bank’s assets in 2014 amounted to 286.4 billion drams; its liabilities were 237 billion drams and capital was 49.37 billion drams. ($ 1 - 475.55 drams).

Source: arka.am

 
April 8, 2015   Russia to provide assistance to Armenia for extending nuke station service life – Lavrov

Russia will provide financial assistance to Armenia for extending the service life of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Russia and Armenia are expect to cooperate on the matter, particularly financial assistance will be provided on the service life extension project, Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Armenia’s foreign minister Edward Nalbandyan after the talks.

Earlier Russia and Armenia signed an intergovernmental agreement to extend the service life of the current second power unit at the Armenian NPP for another 10 years (till 2026). The sides agreed that the extension works will be funded from a Russian loan. At the end of 2014, Russia’s government approved $270 million loan for 15 years for the extension. The start of the works is scheduled for 2017.

The Armenian NPP located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988 that killed some 25,000 people and devastated much of northern Armenia. One of the plant’s two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in November 1995 due to an acute energy crisis. According to experts, the nuke station can operate safely, yet the EU has been insisting on shutdown for the last years.

Source: arka.am

 
April 7, 2015   Armenia’s electric power output 7 751 million kWh in 2014

Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakaryan, presenting today the 2014 activity report to the prime minister, said the country's electric power output was 7 751 million kWh in 2014.

He is quoted by the government's press office as saying that 3 288.6 million kWh here is the electricity generated by thermal power plants, 1 992.6 million kWh by hydro power plants and 2 464.8 million kWh by the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant.

The minister also said that the electric energy generated by the country's power plants and imported here from the outside in 2014 totaled 7 528 million kWh - 65 million kWh more than in 2013.

He said the 2014-2020 program of measures to be taken to enhance Armenia's energy security was approved in 2014 and additional preferences were implied for development of alternative energy. Besides, in his words, AMD 278.5 million was invested in enhancement of energy saving in 31 units as part of the WB-supported program.

Zakaryan said that a program implying prolongation of operation of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant has been approved and an appropriated cooperation agreement has been signed with Russia. He said cooperation with international organizations and banks was continued to keep implementing some investment programs.

Source: arka.am

 
March 30, 2015   World Bank Helps to Further Strengthen Power Supply Reliability in Armenia

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$52 million loan for the Electricity Transmission Network Improvement Project (ETNIP) for Armenia. The new project will improve the reliability of the power transmission network and system management, and support the Government’s efforts in ensuring adequate electricity supply across the country.

Armenia’s National Energy Security Concept prioritizes rehabilitation of key power transmission network assets as a prerequisite for reliable power supply in the country. This project through its first component - strengthening of the power transmission network - targets two major facilities which have the highest rehabilitation priority.

Rehabilitation of the Ashnak substation through replacement of all key equipment will help reduce the number and duration of equipment failures caused by technical reasons, and, thus, improve the reliability of power supply for almost 120,000 electricity consumers. The Ashnak substation was commissioned in 1983 and has undergone no major rehabilitation since then. This substation is essential for ensuring reliable power supply to consumers in Eastern and North-Eastern parts of Armenia, including a large dairy products company, an asphalt plant, and a diamond polishing and jewelry production factory, which employ around 3,500 people.

Rehabilitation of the substation of the Yerevan Thermal Power Center (YTPC) which accounts for 20 percent of total annual electricity generation in Armenia will help reduce the incidence of equipment failures. The overall cost of meeting the electricity demand in the country will significantly increase if it is disconnected from the grid due to failure of its substation. The substation was commissioned in 1965, and has not been rehabilitated since then. Therefore, it is essential for ensuring adequate and low-cost electricity supply to all of the 1,040,000 electricity consumers in the country.

“Currently the power sector of Armenia faces a number of challenges, including supply adequacy and reliability. The project focused on rehabilitation of the selected substations will improve power system reliability, and bring direct benefits to all power consumers in Armenia,” said Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “This will allow avoiding increased incidence of power supply outages, as well as associated significant social and economic costs.”

Under the second component - improvement of the power system management - establishment of a back-up dispatch center is envisaged which will allow improving the management of the power system. Specifically, it is important for ensuring continuous management and control of the power system in case the primary dispatch center (located in down-town Yerevan) fails due to technical or other reasons. The back-up dispatch center will allow to immediately restore the control and management of the power system in case of such failure.

“Armenia's power system will need around 500 MW of new gas-fired generation capacity to preclude the emergence of a supply capacity gap by 2020,” said Arthur Kochnakyan, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project. “Preparation of a new electricity generation project is another critical activity that will be implemented within this project. The Government plans to construct a new combined cycle gas turbine, which will require a number of preparatory activities for which no financing is available.”

Total financing of the project is US$69.16 million, of which US$17.16 million will be the Government’s contribution. The World Bank will provide a US$52 million IBRD loan of variable spread with a 14.5-year grace period and the total repayment term of 25 years. Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, the commitments to Armenia total approximately US$2,118.730 million.

Source: The World Bank

 
March 19, 2015   Two-day workshop in Yenoqavan

On March 14-15 2015 by the initiative of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of RA, the deputy minister Hayk Harutyunyan and the Ministry’s staff along with the experts of Armenian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund held two-day workshop in the village of Yenoqavan of Tavush Region.

During the visit, Mayor of the village, Yenoqavan Development Fund’s director and community representatives present the issues of the main school, kindergarten, community center and the social conditions of the villagers the possible solutions of which were discussed during the workshop. Divided into working groups, teams also discussed the potential and the feasibility of development of agriculture and rural tourism in the village.

The main emphasize was to make Yenoqavan an “Eco Village”, which infrastructure will operate by the consumption of natural and renewable energy sources and energy efficient systems. In conclusion it was decided to sum up all the suggestions and the possible solution of the issues and after to put them into the further discussions.

Source: R2E2 Fund

 
March 19, 2015   EIB loan to help fund Armenia-Georgia power line

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing a high-voltage connection between Armenia and Georgia with a loan of approximately $11 million, the bank said on Monday.

The connecting station, once it is constructed, will provide integrated energy trade between both countries. KfW Bankengruppe of Germany is providing a $93 million loan for the project, the European Union Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF) is supplying an $11 million grant, and Armenia and Georgia are supplying $1.6 million and $7.2 million, respectively.

“This project is an example of the excellent cooperation between the EIB, the regional actors, the (European Union) and KfW. Secure and reliable supplies of energy are of crucial importance for further improving the living standards of the people of Armenia and Georgia,” EIB Vice President Wilhelm Molterer said. “The project will also foster regional trade, increase the potential for the use of hydro-energy generation and facilitate FDI by ensuring the reliable electricity deliveries needed by foreign investors.”

Source: By CISTran Finance Reports

 
March 16, 2015   EU to give 15 mln euro for energy efficiency in Armenia

YEREVAN. – The EU will allocate 15 million euro for energy efficiency and renewable energy in Armenia this year, Traian Hristea, head of the European Union delegation to Armenia, told reporters on Monday in Yerevan.

He reminded that the European Union was one of the very first international financial institutions to support the energy sector of Armenia, by providing assistance for the Armenian nuclear power plant as early as in 1996.

Since 2003, the EU has been supporting renewables in Armenia, and, inter alia, provided 2.6 million euros to rehabilitate the Vorotan cascade of hydro power plants, Armenian state property at the time.

Since 2012, through the Innogate technical assistance program, the EU has provided considerable technical assistance and policy advice, mainly ad hoc consultation on energy policy and statistics.

Source: Armenia News - NEWS.am

 
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