YEREVAN, February 7, /ARKA/. Armenia’s parliament has ratified today a set of amendments to an Armenian-Iranian protocol on construction and management of hydropower plants on the River of Arax signed on December 23, 2011. The amendments relate to supply of equipment for launching the construction of a hydropower plant near the Armenian border town of Meghri.
A Deputy Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Ara Simonyan, said the design phase is ending and will be followed by the equipment purchasing phase.He said the process of ordering, purchasing and delivery of equipment worth about 20 million euros will take at least one year.
A special ground breaking ceremony for the construction of hydropower plant with a capacity of 130 MW and at a cost of $ 323 million was held on November 8 last year. It was attended by Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.
According to the agreement, signed back in 2007, the hydroelectric power plant, which will straddle the border river, will have the capacity to produce 130 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Construction of the power plant began simultaneously in Armenia’s Meghri and Iran's Qarachilar. Each of the stations will annually produce 793 million kW / h of electricity.
According to Iranian officials, , the construction will last for five years and is estimated to cost $323 million. The money will be invested by Iranian investment company.
According to Armenian energy and natural resources minister Armen Movsisyan, this project will give an additional boost to economic development of the region and also a fresh impetus to improving the efficiency of bilateral economic programs.
The feasibility work was done by Iranian consulting company Sagab-Gods, commissioned by the Iranian company for water and energy development under the supervision of the joint Armenian-Iranian technical committee.
The generated energy will be shipped to Iran via a 230 KW transmission line now under construction. After the facility is built it will be operated for 15 years by the Iranian Farat-Sepasat. The electricity will be supplied to Iran to pay off the Iranian investment. After 15 years of operation, the hydropower will become the property of Armenia. -0-