YEREVAN, March 19. / ARKA /. Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC ) has assigned today the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant (TPP) to handle seasonal electricity swaps with neighboring Iran.
Iran and Armenia started seasonal electricity swaps in 1998. In Armenia it was first handled by Armenergo company, then in 2004 it was assigned to Vorotan HPP in the southern region of Syunik bordering Iran.
Garegin Baghramyan, head of a PSRC pricing policy department, said the decision was prompted by selling Vorotan HPP to American Contour Global Hydro Cascade.
"In winter months, when electricity consumption in Armenia rises we receive electricity from Iran and in summer months we ship as much back to Iran,’ he said.
The Yerevan TPP has a ‘gas for electricity’ deal with Iran. It ships to Iran 3 KWh electricity in return for one cubic meters of gas.
The gas pipeline between Iran and Armenia was commissioned in 2007. Under the agreement Iran will supply Armenia with 36 billion cubic meters of gas in 20 years. The agreement may be prolonged by another 5 years.
The Vorotan Hydro Cascade, a series of three hydroelectric power plants totaling 405 MW on the Vorotan River in southern Armenia accounting for roughly 15 percent of the installed capacity of Armenia's electricity system, was sold January 29 to the US-based ContourGlobal for a purchase price of $180 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, ContourGlobal will also invest $70 million over the next six years in a refurbishment program to modernize the plants and improve their operational performance, safety, reliability, and efficiency. ContourGlobal expects the modernization to create 150 near-term jobs in addition to the 150 long-term technicians employed at the plants. -0-