ArmInfo. The project on construction of Vedi reservoir and the irrigation system has been launched in Armenia. "This will become the first reservoir built from the standing stop in the history of independent Armenia," Arsen Harutyunyan, Chairman of the State Water Committee of the Armenian Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, said in Yerevan on Jan 23.
He said that construction of Vedi reservoir, which has a capacity of 29 mln cu m and a water surface of 120 ha, will start in March and will last for 4 years. The water sources will be the rivers Vedi and Khosrov of Ararat province. The dam to be built will be 85m high and the irrigation system will be 37km long. This will make it possible to irrigate nearly 4 thsd ha. The water draw-off from Lake Sevan will decrease by 18 mln cu m. 11 pump stations will be turned out and 3 more pump stations will be switched off partly. This will allow saving about 1 bln AMD, or 19 mln kWh of electricity.
The construction will be implemented by Sahakyanshin CJSC, which rehabilitated the Marmarik reservoir destroyed in 1974 and commissioned in April 2012. The company says that the construction will be completed in due time and without obstacles, because the climatic conditions around Vedi reservoir are favorable.
The project budget is about 90 mln EUR, with 75 mln EUR of this amount being the loan of the French Development Agency and 15 mln EUR being the co-financing from the state budget of Armenia.
The construction of the reservoir is of strategic importance to Armenia. Earlier Turkey announced its plans to build large reservoirs on the River Arax. Due to this, the Armenian side may experience irrigation water deficit. Harutyunyan said that Armenia cannot fully neutralize such risks. However, the reservoir in Vedi will mitigate the effects of Turkish water expansion. "From now on 29 million cu m of water, which ran in the territory of Armenia, flowing into the River Arax, will accumulate in Vedi reservoir," he said. As regards the rehabilitation and construction completion of Kaps reservoir on the River Akhuryan near Turkey's border, Harutyunyan pointed out that in 2017 it is planned to complete the design work and to announce a tender in early 2018 for the construction of the reservoir. "In mid-2018 the relevant company will be announced," he said. It was previously reported that the German KfW Bank's EUR 50 million loan provided for 15 years (with a 5-year grace period) will be spent on these purposes. The construction will last for about 5 years.
To note, there are about 90 different reservoirs in Armenia. A large-scale program on construction of four reservoirs in Armenia - Yeghvard, Vedi, Kaps and Mastara - will be launched. The programs are estimated at about $350-400 mln and they will be funded mainly by the loan of international donors such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Eurasian Development Bank, French Development Agency, German KFW Bank, etc.