YEREVAN, February 12. / ARKA /. Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) has approved today the investment program of Russian-owned International Energy Corporation which owns and operates the Sevan-Hrazdan cascade of several hydropower plants for 2014-2018 worth 21.5 billion drams. Of that amount 5.5 billion drams will be invested this year.
The cascade, located along the river Hrazdan is an important component of the national power grid. Its installed capacity is 565 MW. The cascade accounts for 10% of the electricity produced in the country and its water canals transport water for irrigation of some 70 % of the arable land.
Karen MKhitaryan, a representative of the International Energy Corporation, said the bulk of investments will be channeled into the modernization of seven power plants as well as into the restoration of hydraulic structures to ensure their smooth operation.
He said the electrical networks and transmission lines of the cascade have been operating for over 50 years, becoming as a result outdated. This in mind the company has developed an extensive investment program to upgrade and restore the entire facility, he said.
Company CEO, Arsen Grigoryan , said the main objective is to reduce losses and use water resources more efficiently. He said the rehabilitation is underway already at some plants, which is scheduled for completion before the releases of water from Lake Sevan. He added that the funds for the investment program were provided by international corporations.
"The overall upgrading of the cascade requires much larger amounts. This is the first step that should be followed by new ones,’ he said.
The majority of stake in the company, founded in 2003 for the operation of Sevan - Hrazdan Cascade belongs to Russian RusHydro, the largest power generating company in Russia. ($ 1 - 411.49 drams). -0-