ArmInfo. Citizens of Armenia are paying the highest electricity price in the region, Nikol Pashinyan, a lawmaker, member of the Armenian National Congress faction in the parliament, said in the parliament on March 14.
He said the electricity price in Georgia is 28.6 drams per KWh versus 47.7 drams per kWh - almost 70% more. In 2013, the electricity price in the country was increased by 8 drams because of what they called grid imbalance. Although the citizens paid additionally 35 billion drams, the imbalance just increased and they said the electricity price should be increased by another 4 drams. In 2015, the situation has not changed, though the price increased by 12 drams and the consumers paid 55 billion drams additionally. Eventually, the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) failed to pay 23.3 bln drams to the power generating facilities.
Now, the consumers are reluctant to pay by 6.93 drams more per kWh of electricity, otherwise the power generating facilities will face bankruptcy and the energy system will occur on the brink of collapse. Nevertheless, 7 months after the last electricity price hike, there is an absolutely new situation. It has turned out that the reports on insolvency of ENA are exaggerated. In addition, there are electric power plants that ENA has no debts to: Hrazdan TPP, the 5th power unit of the Hrazdan TPP, Vorotan and Sevan- Hrazdan Cascade of HPPs. The company has debts to the Yerevan TPP, the Armenian NPP and some small HPPs. It has turned out that ENA has no debts to the Russian power generating facilities only. Meantime, Pashinyan said recalling data of an international audit, the Armenian consumers are most conscientious payers in the CIS. The payment collection in Armenia is 94% of total electricity bills.
"Actually, ENA that belongs to Inter RAO has ignored the Armenian state-run enterprises and ensure profits to the Russian ones only, as well as to the Vorotan Cascade of HPP that belongs to U.S." Pashinyan said with bewilderment.
Even after this, the public services watchdog yielded to ENA and increased the electricity rate, though by 6.93 drams not by 17 drams as the Company insisted. "All this shows that President Serzh Sargsyan supports the endeavors of the Russian and American companies to ruin the Armenian companies engaged in the emerge sector," Pashinyan said.
He asked whether ENA covered the debts to the state-run power generating facilities after the regular electricity price hike. In the period from August 2015 up to January 2016, ENA received 10-13 billion drams additional incomes. The Company paid only 890 million drams to the Armenian NPP and 1.5 billion drams out of the 12 billion drams debt to the Yerevan HPP, which increases the grid imbalance.
Eventually, the country borrowed $30 million from the World Bank to rehabilitate the energy system. As usually, these $30 million will occur in the pockets of corrupt officials. He urged a change in the government policy in the field. Otherwise, he said, the Armenian people will nationalize the energy system, Pashinyan said.