President Armen Sarkissian has arrived to the United Arab Emirates on a working visit. Today, in Abu Dhabi he was present at the official agreement signing ceremony between the Masdar company and the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) for the joint development.
According to the agreement, solar energy projects of 400 megawatt general capacity will be developed in Armenia and investments over 300 million USD will be made. The first project envisaged by the agreement relates to the construction in the western part of Armenia of the solar photovoltaic stations of 200 megawatt general capacity.
After the signing ceremony, which took place at New York University of Abu Dhabi, President Sarkissian had a meeting with the Executive Director of the Mubadala investment company Khaldoon Al Mubadarak and Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al Mazroui.
“Recently, the relations between our two countries have moved forward considerably thanks to your efforts. You have a great input in the advancement of our relations, and today we cooperate in the atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding,” Khaldoon Al Mubadarak said addressing the President of Armenia. He added that there are only few presidents in the world who are capable of conducting such a multidimensional policy and know well how economy works.
The Director of ANIF David Papazian thanked the President for assistance. “We used the opportunity which President Sarkissian opened during his visit to the UAE last January. As a result, high quality and competitive partners will come to Armenia with an excellent proposal. We are planning to have in Armenia the second energy station which will match the capacity of the existing nuclear power station and will work on renewable energy sources,” he said.
The President hailed the accomplished works and noted that this cooperation establishes a good base for a broader cooperation.
“This is only the beginning of a long journey. Together we can do much more. We need to work harder and we will have good results which will benefit you as well as Armenia,” the President of Armenia said. “Armenia has beautiful nature and we have to be very careful with our nature. Energy production and mining are industries which we have to be very careful about. I believe this cooperation will be successful not only in making Armenia greener but will also be useful in making Armenia’s energy system more balanced.”
At the same time President Sarkissian suggested to view Armenia as a platform for entering the big market of the Eurasian Economic Union. He expressed hope that the results of the meetings earlier this year and this one would promote the development of Armenia-UAE relations.
President Sarkissian was present also at the Mubadala business forum held in New York University of Abu Dhabi and had a brief conversation with the President and Executive Director of Siemens Joe Kaeser.
Within the framework of the action program, the EU allocated to Armenia EUR 69 million for energy efficiency programs. EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Viktorin said this at the closing ceremony of the Renewable and Efficient Energy in Municipalities Vayk and Spitak Project on November 30, emphasizing that assistance in this direction will be continuous.
In this regard, she noted that under this program, 45 buildings worth EUR 1 million were repaired. In addition, 5 solar photovoltaic stations were built on public buildings in Spitak (1) and in Vayk(4). The beneficiaries of the program were 1,160 people in Spitak and 2,640 people in Vayk. According to Ms. Viktorin, energy is one of the most important components of cooperation within the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the European Union (CEPA). <The development of the renewable energy sector will allow Armenia to reduce its dependence on imported energy and the negative impact on the climate>, she said. To recall, earlier the European Union announced its intention to increase funding for projects in the field of Armenian energy. As noted, special attention will be paid to issues related to the development of alternative and renewable energy, increasing the level of energy efficiency. For these purposes, it is even envisaged to form an Energy Efficiency Council, which will regulate projects in this area. Funds from the EU Eastern Partnership Program will also be attracted to implement the programs, within which the republic will receive about EUR 80 million. Another EUR 300 million will be allocated by the EU and European financial institutions to improve the security of the country's energy complex and diversify energy sources. Most of the funds will come in the form of loans, the other in the form of grants. At the same time, projects in the field of energy efficiency will be considered priority, which should be aimed at reducing dependence on energy imports, smoothing out growing demand for it and providing more affordable, economical, as well as environmental energy solutions.
Two new wind farms are to be built in Armenia, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Hakob Vardanyan told reporters on Tuesday. He said the government is negotiating their construction with two companies - the Spanish Axion and Access Infra Central Age Asia Limited from the UAE.
Vardanyan said the sides were discussing the feasibility study and tariffs, 'and if we get a tariff that is acceptable to us, then the PSRC can provide them with a building license."
The deputy minister indicated the Geghama Mountains (Sevan-Gavar) as a possible location for the construction of the wind farms.
Armenia has abundant wind energy resources in the high mountain regions - Karakhach Pass, Pushkin Pass, Sotk, near the town of Sisian, in Jajur and Semenovka. There are currently two wind farms operating in Armenia.
One of them - Lori-1 is the first in Armenia and the South Caucasus. Commissioned in 2005, it has 2.64 MW capacity. The wind farm is located on the Pushkin Pass in the north of the country.
The second wind farm- Arats LLC is located near the town y of Kajaran in the south of Armenia. It was granted a license by the Public Services Regulatory Commission in March 2015 and was connected to the power grid in the summer.
The Armenian nuclear power plant accounts for about 30% of the total electricity generated in the country. Thermal power plants account for 41.9%, hydroelectric power stations for 29.2% and some 11% are generated by renewable energy resources.
Small solar power plants with a total installed capacity of 300-400 MW are to be built in Armenia by 2024, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Hakob Vardanyan told reporters on Tuesday.
He said the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) has awarded this year licenses for the construction of solar power plants each with a capacity of up to 5 MW. Their total installed capacity is 200 MW, and some of them with the total installed capacity of 105 MW are under construction now, he added.
He said by 2024 solar power plants are supposed to secure 10% of the total electricity consumption in the country. He added that this, in turn, will allow to cease imports of energy resources in the same amount. He said that from mid-2018 to 2019, 9 solar power plants have been built with a capacity of 4.1 MW and another 25 plants with a capacity of up to 5 MW are under construction.
He said also the financial results of an international tender announced for the construction of the Masrik-1 photovoltaic solar power plant with a capacity of 55 MW will be summed up on December 16, after which the winning company will be given two years for its construction.
He said apart from Masrik-1, another tender has been announced for a consultant for the construction of another 5 solar power plants with an installed capacity of 120 MW, the results of which are to be announced before the end of the year.
He said the selection of a consultant is to be followed by research, preparation of documents for announcing another international tender in 6-7 months to choose a company for construction of new solar power plants.
He said the largest of the stations - with a capacity of 75 MW -will be built near the town of Talin in Shirak province, and the rest in Gagarino, Hrazdan, Metz Masrik and Shorzha in Gegharkunik province.
So far the largest solar power plant in Armenia - ArSun 1-2 - was commissioned on November 12 in the Hrazdan community of the Kotayk province and connected to the national power grid.
The plant, estimated to cost $ 2 million, was designed and constructed by Shtigen company. The co-owner of the solar power plant Hayk Shekyan, who is also the CEO of Shtigen company, said it was the fifth commercial solar power plant built by their company.
Thanks to our experience and stable partnerships with the best manufacturers, we were able to provide the best price / quality ratio - $450 per 1kW of installed capacity (not counting VAT)," Shekyan noted.
According to another co-owner Karen Ghazaryan, the company will build new solar power plants to increase the share of solar energy produced in the country and reduce its dependence on other countries and also improve the environment.
The construction of the ArSun 1-2 solar power plant had started in July of this year and ended earlier this week. The station covers an area of 4 hectares, the installed capacity is 2 MW and the annual output is 3.4 million kWh.
The funding was provided by ArmSwissBank as part of the German-Armenian Fund's program, which operates jointly with KfW Bank.
Founded in 2011 Shtigen is one of the leading companies in the field of solar energy in Armenia.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Vazil Hudák.
The Premier stressed the importance of implementing joint investment projects through closer interaction between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Bank. Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that the programs implemented in cooperation with the EIB are of great importance to the business community and the citizens of Armenia, as they seek to support the private sector and improve infrastructure. The Prime Minister noted that the Government of the Republic of Armenia is interested in discussing the possibilities of implementing new projects with the EIB.
Vazil Hudák said that the cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Armenia is effective, and the EIB is willing to discuss with its Armenian partners the possibilities of implementing new multifaceted projects in different sectors of the economy.
The interlocutors addressed issues related to infrastructure development, including the implementation of new projects in energy, transport, road construction, water supply and agriculture. In this context, they referred to the ongoing and projected programs implemented in the frame of cooperation between the Municipality of Yerevan and the EIB.
President Armen Sarkissian received today delegation of the international SkyPower company headed by Director General for Sales Charles Cohen. This major company, which is specializing in the area of solar energy, has arrived to Armenia at the invitation of Armen Sarkissian.
Welcoming their readiness to cooperate with our country, President Sarkissian said that Armenia attaches importance to the development of the area of renewable energy and is open for cooperation. “I hope that during your visit, you will have productive meetings with the representatives of the government and will discuss concrete directions of cooperation,” he underscored.
Charles Cohen said that they are interested in cooperation with Armenia and have already conducted feasibility studies on the opportunities of developing the area of solar energy in Armenia, on the implementation of programs which would be presented to the representatives of the Armenian government during the upcoming meetings. He also informed on the programs of the company implemented in other countries and noted that SkyPower is represented on almost every continent.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated today in the relaunch of the modernized Hakhtanak power substation, commissioned by the High Voltage Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC.
The relaunch ceremony was attended also by a Russia-based businessman of Armenian origin Samvel Karapetyan, who is the owner of Tashir group of companies, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan and other high-ranking officials. Pashinyan talked with the substation workers, who are 25 now; however, their number is to increase to 150.
According to Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Minister Suren Papikyan, the reconstruction of the 220 kV high-voltage power substation cost $14 million, financed by a World Bank loan.
“This substation is important for reliable power supply to the south-west of Yerevan and a number of settlements in the Armavir province of Armenia. The substation’s capacity has been increased and the frequency of accidents has been reduced,” Papikyan said.
The minister said that WB provided $130 million to finance a set of programs to increase the reliability of the energy system of Armenia.
Reconstruction of the Hakhtanak power substation was carried out by the Cascade Energy company (part of the Tashir group of companies.
The state-owned High-Voltage Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC is engaged in the wholesale purchase and sale of electricity and its transmission directly to consumers or exporters. It runs a total of 15 substations as well as a wind farm in Stepanavan.
Armenia's government has approved today a proposal to sign a 10 million euro grant agreement with the French Development Agency.
Economy minister Tigran Khachatryan said 8.5 million euros will be allocated to the Ministry of Economy and the remaining 1.5 million euros to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures for the implementation of a program designed to develop irrigated agriculture in the provinces of Ararat and Armavir.
He said the goal of the program is to build a modern irrigation system through technical support and investment, removing barriers to water storage, irrigation infrastructure, land consolidation, consulting services and access to loans.
According to the minister, the program will embrace 2 thousand hectares of irrigated land, and also technical and financial assistance will be provided to 20 farms.
The provinces of Ararat and Armavir have a population of about 500 thousand people. The project consists of two components - 4.4 million euros will be provided as technical assistance and 5.6 million euros as investment.
Prime Minister Pashinyan said: “Our bitter experience shows that we receive funds, we distribute them, we spend them, but we don’t get results. Our task should be to obtain results so that these funds translate into high quality infrastructure.”
EU is contributing with EUR 10,000,000: the EU Contribution consists of a Technical Assistance component of EUR 4 050 000 and an Investment Grant component of EUR 5 600 000 divided into multiple activities and investments; EUR 0.35 million are allocated to communication.
The Delegation Agreement between EU and the French Development Agency was signed on 19 December, 2017. TheEU Contribution is expected to contribute to: improved water management and increased knowledge about water resource and water balance; additional incomes for farmers, develop pilot mechanisms for land consolidation operations to become a potential model for further reforms; enhanced cooperation between farmers’ groups, Water-Users Associations (WUAs) and cooperatives; enhanced policy dialogue between the MTAI, the Water Committee and all involved donors about irrigation reforms; setup of innovative mechanisms to encourage banks to engage in irrigated agriculture sector.
The government of Armenia has announced a tender for cleaning 770 hectares of flooded areas of Lake Sevan, governor of Gegharkunik region Gnel Sanosyan told reporters on Monday. He said the flooded forests are the main pollution problem of Lake Sevan, which affect also the quality of water.
He said this area is physically impossible to clean in one year, and therefore a tender for cleaning has been announced. The first stage includes cleaning of 80-100 hectares of flooded area. The governor said the cleaning will take three years. In parallel, the cleaning of territories that have not yet gone under water will be carried out.
He said after discussions of the problem it was decided to allow residents of nearby villages to cut trees on dry areas that do not require the use of special equipment and which will go under water as a result of rising of the lake's level next year.
He said the waste water treatment plants in Gavar, Martuni and Vardenis carry out only mechanical cleaning of the water that flows into the lake. "Negotiations are underway with various companies, including international ones, to build biological treatment plants on the rivers that flow into the lake,' he said.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended today a ceremony that gave start to the construction of a new thermal power plant in Yerevan. The new thermal power plant’s design capacity is 250 MW. The construction is projected to last 26 months. The service life of the facility is 25-30 years. The projected efficiency is 53% and cost is estimated at more than $250 million.
Hakob Vardanyan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, said that the plant will be able to generate 1.8-2 billion kWh of electricity per year. The prime cost of 1 kWh will be 27.4 drams.
According to Vardanyan, about a thousand temporary jobs will be created for the construction of the plant, whose minimum wage will be about $600. After completion of the construction, 250 permanent jobs will be created for highly qualified specialists.
The head of the Public Services Regulatory Commission Garegin Baghramyan said that this plant will replace the Hrazdan thermal power plant whose service life expires in a couple of years. "The Hrazdan plant generates electricity at a very high price. The fuel share in the cost is 31.5 drams, which is 4 drams more that the cost of electricity that the new plant will produce. With other costs the price of 1 kWh becomes 40-41 drams," he said.
According to Baghramyan, after commissioning the new plant, the cost of electricity for consumers may fall by 1-1.5 drams. The finances for the construction of the plant were provided by the IFC ($42 million), another $121 million by the IFC’s innovative lending platform, $44 million by the Asian Development Bank, and $39 million by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA ). Funds are also provided by other financial organizations.
The government of Armenia approved today the signing of a 2.7 million euro grant agreement with German KfW Bank called "Integrated Water Resources Management / Akhuryan River, Phase 2."
Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Minister Suren Papikyan said under the agreement the government expects to raise a total of 18.5 million euros for the construction of the Kakhsi reservoir in the Kotayk region of Armenia.
He said the government will also use part of the money to restore the Kumayri water pipeline, which will allow building a reservoir with the capacity to store 25 million cubic meters of water for irrigation of 750 hectares of territories.
Papikyan said the grant of 2.7 million euro will be used to conduct examinations, necessary for starting the construction of the reservoir. He added the details will be spelled out in a separate agreement .
IFC and MIGA, members of the World Bank Group, are arranging a landmark $202 million debt finance and guarantee package for Armenia’s first greenfield project-financed power plant, to help bolster the country’s power generation and drive economic growth, ARMENPRESS was informed from the IFC.
Two-thirds of electricity in Armenia comes from imported fuel. The country relies on dated low-efficiency thermal power plants to generate a significant part of its electricity. A modern 250-megawatt combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in the south of Yerevan will help increase efficiency for gas-fired electricity generation, producing up to 2,000 gigawatt hours annually and ensuring a reliable power supply. It will also help lower gas costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
IFC is the lead arranger of the package, which includes a $42 million loan for IFC’s own account and $121 million from IFC’s innovative syndications platform, the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, plus parallel loans from the Asian Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the German development finance institution DEG (Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH). MIGA is providing a guarantee of up to $39 million to help Renco Spa manage non-commercial risks.
The funding will go to ArmPower, established by a consortium comprising German Siemens Project Ventures GmbH (part of Siemens Financial Services), Italian Renco Spa, and SIMEST Spa (CDP Group), an Italian development finance institution.
Renco will also act as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the plant. Its CEO, Giovanni Rubini, said: “Renco has been present in Armenia for 20 years and we are very satisfied to have reached a critical milestone in the development of a project of strategic importance for the technological and energy growth of the country. We are committed to starting the work as soon as possible to complete the commissioning of the plant within schedule.”
“Reliable electricity ensures access to basic services and is an important engine of economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. This project is part of the World Bank Group’s fundamental efforts to help ensure a reliable power supply in Armenia,” said Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. “We are committed to continue seeking opportunities to strengthen the country’s power sector to drive further development and growth.”
The project is the result of joint efforts within the World Bank Group, following World Bank-supported reforms in Armenia’s power sector that helped establish an independent regulator and diversify ownership of assets. The World Bank also funded an upgrade of the country’s aging and outdated power transmission network.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war & civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders. Over the last three decades, MIGA has directly supported over $50 billion in investments for over 845 projects in 111 developing countries.
Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan
The EBRD is intensifying efforts to strengthen energy efficiency in Armenia with the launch of a new Green Economy Financing Facility for the country, co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates will benefit from a €2.5 million loan to ArmSwiss Bank, the second bank to join GEFF in Armenia after the successful set-up of a credit line with Ameriabank. Funding will be available for investments in green technology, especially in climate adaptation and mitigation technologies. Possible investments include technologies such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and water efficient irrigation systems. Businesses can identify typical green technologies available in Armenia through the GEFF Technology Selector.
Companies interested in securing a loan for green technologies may also benefit from investment incentives funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). The GEFF includes a comprehensive technical advisory package, co-financed by the GCF, which helps to originate and verify green investment opportunities.
The new GEFF programme in Armenia was launched in Yerevan today at an event which brought together GEFF stakeholders, including donors, local state officials, local partner financial institutions, suppliers and producers of green technologies for the residential sector.
The EBRD was represented by its Head of Armenia, Dmitri Gvindadze, who commented: “Developing the financial sector and improving access to green finance is one of our key priorities in Armenia. We are pleased to work with Ameriabank and ArmSwissBank to support both energy efficiency and water resource efficiency investments. Today, we have partnered with the ArmSwissBank which has a strong client base, and so we can better reach out to private sector players both in Yerevan and the regions.”
The GEFF programme will contribute towards building a green economy in Armenia by supporting the expansion of green finance in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.
Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested €1.2 billion in 168 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of investments in the private sector.
Since 2006, the EBRD has committed over €26 billion to projects furthering the transition to the green economy across its regions of operations.
"National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to advance medium and long-term adaptation planning in Armenia" project has been launched, which is implemented with financing of USD 2.7 million grant from the Green Climate Fund provided to Armenia. The projects aims to establish adaptation priorities in our country outlined through the Paris Agreement.
RA First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Irina Ghaplanyan, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Dmitry Mariyasin, officers and experts of a number of state agencies, international and non-governmental organizations participated in the project's initial workshop.
In her speech, Irina Ghaplanyan emphasized that as a sector coordinating department, the Ministry of Nature Protection makes a point of Armenia's full-fledged participation in climate processes. The launched project envisages identification of medium- and long-term risks, as well as priorities and actions ensuring adaptation and sustainable development of key sectors of Armenia in the direction of climate change.
Armenia will lay the groundwork for institutional sustainability of climate change adaptation processes in water resources, agriculture, energy, health, tourism, including other key priority sectors. To achieve thereof, systematic and continued action plans will be developed.
The NAP will also contribute to the integration of Armenia into governance planning, international budgeting processes, inclusive of seeking finance options required for facing climate change challenges.