YEREVAN, December 19. / ARKA /. Armenia could export electricity to Turkey via Georgia, Hassan Selim Uzertem, and head of the Turkish Center for Research of Energy Security of the International Strategic Studies organization, told an international conference in Yerevan on regional security challenges.
He explained that because of the closed Turkish-Armenian border export of Armenian electricity t to Turkey is impossible, even if power–generating facilities in Armenia are owned by foreign companies.
"However, there are ways for developing bilateral commerce. I see in Yerevan many Turkish brands that come to Armenia via Georgia. You can do it in the opposite direction. Armenia could sell electricity to Georgia and Georgia to Turkey,» Uzertem said.
He said Georgia is already exporting electricity to Turkey.
"Sales of Armenian electricity to Turkey via Georgia could serve as an additional factor in the integration between the three countries,» he added.
Speaking at the same conference, Sevak Sarukhanyan, head of a Yerevan-based Noravank think-tank, said Armenia could sell electricity to Iran have not it been too expensive? He said according to many estimates, if Armenia builds a new nuclear power unit in lieu of its aging Metsamor plant, the cost of one Kilowatt of electrifies will be 16 US cents, whereas Tehran subsidies electricity prices for households which pay only 2 US cents.
The Armenian Metsamor nuclear power plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. Armenian authorities say they will build a new nuclear power plant to replace the aging facility. The new plant is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity. But the government has yet to attract funding for the project that was estimated by a U.S.-funded feasibility study to cost at as much as $5 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said September 3 after talks with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan in the Russian capital that experts from Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and their Armenian peers agreed to work on a project to extend the service life of the current Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor for another 10 years until 2026. -0-