ArmInfo. Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is the source of cheapest energy power processing in the country, and which is why its role is hard to overestimate from the point of view of possibilities of economy development. This was stated by Armenian Finance Minister Vardan Aramyan during the conversation with ArmInfo's correspondent.
"The Armenian nuclear power plant supplies 35- 40% of all energy produced in the country at an affordable price to the power grid of the republic, "the Minister said, adding that in case of the stop of it, the plant's capacity would have to be recovered from thermal power stations with gas turbine installations, but the tariff with these facilities will be incomparably higher. "If the nuclear power plant suddenly stops today, not having in mind the program that is implemented jointly with our Russian partners to extend the service life fpr at least 10 years, this will lead to a sharp increase of energy price with all the negative consequences for the country's economy. From this point of view, I consider this program to be extremely necessary and important, "the Minister stated.
He reminded that the Russian loan of $ 270 million was granted to Armenia for a period of 15 years with a grace period for payments during first 3 years. At the same time, the interest rate is 3%. "On the international market, Armenian Government securities are placed at a rate of 8%, which means that when placing bonds at 8%, the interest rate of a Russian loan is preferential. Why is it about 3% interest? Yes, because the loan is an export.It is redirected to Russian residents who pay taxes locally to the budget of Russia, which is why the loan rate is adequate, it is balanced taking into account the interests of the parties, "the head of the Armenian Finance Ministry said.
Vardan Aramyan also pointed out that significant financial resources were saved as a result of the tender conducted by the general contractor - Rusatom Service - tenders for the supply of equipment and services, but this does not mean that the money saved will be used to repay the principal amount of the loan. It can only go about paying off already used resources. For this reason, the funds saved as a result of tenders for the supply of equipment and inventory can help reduce the volume of payments. In addition, the savings can be used as a backup to counter possible challenges, for example, rising prices for diesel fuel, oil products or fittings. "In any case, these funds remain at the disposal of the Armenian NPP, with which we have a subcontract," the Minister said. At the same time, in accordance with the sub-loan agreement, the interest rate remained unchanged. Otherwise, the NPP would face problems connected, among other things, with the possibility of increasing the tariff. "It is important that the loan conditions are not transformed into nationals, the nuclear power plant will transfer funds to the Armenian Finance Ministry, and the latter will be repaid from Russian Ministry of Finance," concluded Vardan Aramyan.
To remind, from May 10, the Armenian NPP was stopped for 60 days in order to carry out preventive maintenance works (PMR) and refueling. Within the framework of these works, measures will be taken to extend the life of the N2 power unit. In March 2015, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was established to implement the project. Till now, four meetings of the JCC have been held.
Earlier, during his interview with ArmInfo correspondent, AEP N2 energy bloc term prolongation works head said, that a considerable amount of work will be carried out during the preventive maintenance. The main focus will be put on the safety of the nuclear power plant: works related to the repair of equipment will be performed, as well as work on instrumental inspection of equipment. The repair of the equipment will be assisted by employees of the Kolskaya and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants - they are the ?twinning? stations of the Armenian NPP, scientific management will be carried out by JSC TsNIITMASH, an industrial enterprise of the Rosatom. As for the instrumental survey, the main task of this exercise is to calculate and confirm the residual life of the equipment using non-destructive testing methods. In simple words, it is necessary to check the possibility of further operation of NPP equipment. As you know, there is a lot of equipment on the NPPA, so the instrumental survey is distributed for several years, without compromising the safety and operation of the NPPA. Last year, we started this process; this year the volume of the surveyed equipment increased by 50% compared to last year (150 types of equipment) at the request of the supervisory authority. We hope to finish the instrumental survey process next year and in 2019. Transfer calculations and conclusions to the supervisory authority - the State Committee for Nuclear Safety Regulation. We hope to finish on time, but everything will depend on the results of the survey and the decision of the Gosatomnadzor. On 30 Sept 2015, Tashir Group headed by Russian businessman of Armenian origin Samvel Karapetyan and Inter RAO signed an agreement of purchase and sale of electric power assets of the Russian energy holding in Armenia - ENA CJSC and Hrazdan TPP. The reason of the sale was the public discontent about the ungrounded growth in electricity prices by approximately 16.7% (6.93 AMD per 1 kWh). The Public Services Regulatory Commission's (PSRC) decision to raise the tariff sparked protests and the Armenian authorities agreed to audit both the expediency of PSRC's decision to raise the tariff and the activities of the Electric Networks. In addition, the authorities and Tashir Group took a decision to subsidize on a parity basis the raised tariff for the households and SMEs until the audit is completed. Since August 1, 2015, the daytime tariff for households (from 7 am till 11 pm) has been 48.78 AMD per 1kWh, while the nighttime tariff has been 38.78 AMD per 1 kWh.