YEREVAN, January 31. / ARKA /. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided the International Energy Corporation (IEC) with a $25 million loan to finance the modernization of the Sevan-Hrazdan cascade of seven hydropower plants in Armenia, EBRD said in a pres release.
The Sevan-Hrazdan cascade, located on the River of Hrazdan, whose length from Lake Sevan to Yerevan is 70 km, is one of the most important components of Armenia’s power grid with installed capacity of 565 MW. The cascade accounts for 10% of electricity generated by Armenia a year, while its water-conducting channels provide sufficient water for irrigation of 70% of cultivated land in the country. The EBRD financing will significantly assist the overall reconstruction of the cascade, which was built between 1936 and 1961.
This will ensure continuous, stable and secure supply of electricity and will also improve the overall operational efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
The largest stake in the International Energy Corporation, founded in 2003 for the operation of the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade is owned by Russian RusHydro, the largest power generating company in Russia.
"We are very happy to collaborate with International Energy Corporation in implementing this important program, building simultaneously a long-term cooperation with RusHydro. These two companies bring their experience to hydropower, which we believe will contribute to the success of this program," EBRD energy director Nandita Parshad was quoted as saying in the press release.
According to her, the project will use the latest technology, which will not only increase the production of clean energy in Armenia, but also significantly reduce the current rate of losses due to damaged water conveyance channels.
RusHydro board of directors member Konstantin Bessmertny said,’ "I am sure that the EBRD assistance is instrumental for modernization of the Sevan-Hrazdan cascade. This long-term financing fully meets the needs of the International Energy Corporation and what is extremely important is that this program is cost-effective and, therefore, is quite real and acceptable in the context of regulation of tariffs in Armenia. "
Since its inception in Armenia in 1992 and to this date, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has committed 613 million euros for tens of porjects. Implementation of investments in "green" energy is one of its e main priorities in Armenia. In 2012, it signed agreements on 15 projects with a total budget of 94 million euros. -0-