ArmInfo. Ministry of Economic Development and Investments is studying business proposal made by Slovakian investors on restarting Nairit plant, Deputy Minister Emil Tarasyan told journalists on October 13 after government session.
Tarasyan recalled that recently a delegation from Slovakia has visited Armenia headed by the Deputy Finance Minister. Potential investors, including Head of Armenian Diaspora in Slovakia Ashot Grigroyan were among the members of the delegation. According to the Deputy Minister as a result of the meeting an agreement was reached that the proposal will be studied in order to understand how feasible the project is. Tarasyan also stated that the program will be discussed with the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources.
It was previously reported that EU-ASIA Business Finance Centre (Slovakia) is ready to invest up to 150 mln EUR in Nairit Plant. The holding is registered in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The company was registered in April 2016 as a company providing advisory services in the field of business and management. Nairit Plant has been idle since April 2010. Throughout six years the Armenian government responded to numerous appeals of the former employees that the plant will be re-launched as soon as investor is found. "EU Asia Business Finance Center" holding has an Iranian partner who is ready to provide gas for operation of the plant free of charge as an investment. Holding is ready to pay 1EUR for operation of the plant for 5 years in case it is exempted from taxes for that period and its debts to state are canceled.
To note, at the moment the debts of Nairit Plant amount to 50 billion AMD (about 130 million USD). The Plant's shares were given as security against the CIS InterStateBank's 70 mln USD loan provided in 2006 for 5 years - till late Dec 2011 - at 12.5% p.a. In 2006, 90% of Nairit Plant's shares were sold to Rhinoville Property Limited (UK). The latter owns an 89,999% stake in the plant, Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources - 4,496%, Gazprom Armenia CJSC (previously ArmRusgasprom) - 3,596%, and Yerevan Thermal Power Plant - 1,907%. In 2015 the World Bank conducted a financial and technical audit at Nairit Plant at the request of the Armenian Government. The WB considers the re- launch of the plant to be inexpedient because it will need at least $250 mln. But even if investors are found, the WB experts do not think the product will be competitive, because it will have a high prime cost. Most experts were saying that the results of the WB audit can be considered as recommendations to the Plant's bankruptcy process, which has in fact started.