Wednesday, May 31 2017 18:48
Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

Czech companies are interested in implementing projects in renewable energy field of Armenia

Czech companies are interested in implementing projects in renewable energy field of Armenia

ArmInfo. A number of Czech companies with significant experience in implementing projects for the development of various spheres in the field of renewable energy held a large presentation for representatives of the Armenian business in Yerevan yesterday. The event was organized by the Czech Embassy in Armenia. "The Czech Republic has accumulated colossal experience in small hydropower engineering, construction and operation of photovoltaic and wind parks, and our companies are interested in cooperation with Armenia, which started serious projects in the field of renewable energy," Czech Ambassador to Armenia Petr Mikyska said when opening the presentation.

The head of the energy department of the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia, Hayk Badalyan, who spoke at the event, noted that support for the development of renewable energy is one of the priorities in the activities of the ministry. In the conversation with the correspondent of ArmInfo, the specialist emphasized that the government made a number of decisions that contribute to the development of the industry, from temporary exemption from VAT payments (300 million AMD) for import of equipment to light licensing procedures. These measures are aimed at the successful implementation of a large investment program developed by the Ministry of Energy, which envisages the installation by 2020 of several solar stations with a capacity of 40-50 megawatts, which will be connected to the common electricity network of Armenia. The full implementation of the program, according to preliminary estimates, can provide up to 8% of the energy consumed in the country. An important aspect of the success of the program is an important legislative stimulating norm, obliging a guaranteed purchase of electricity from the electricity supply network for 20 years at a comfortable tariff for investors, established by the Public Services Regulatory Commission. The Ministry estimates that the capital expenditures for the construction of one solar station with a capacity of 1 MW will amount to about $ 1 million, which falls under investor-friendly, lightweight procedures.

Touching upon the development of solar energy, for which the so-called "solar map" of Armenia was created, Badalyan said that three photovoltaic stations have already been licensed in the country, two of them with a capacity of up to 1 MW and one up to 500 kW. He also informed that within the framework of the investment program of the Ministry of Energy, necessary research has already been carried out in six regions of the country and a tender has already been announced for the construction of a solar station in the town of Masrik in Gegharkunik region up to 55 MW. As a result of its implementation, it is assumed that the tariff for electricity of this large station will not exceed 6 cents per kW of electricity.

Present at the presentation of the representative of the Czech company SWH Groop of Armenia, Antonin Kolka, in an interview with ArmInfo correspondent, stated his intention to participate in the tender for the construction of a solar station in Masrik. According to him, the country has created good conditions for attracting foreign investors to projects on renewable energy generation. In addition to the construction of a photovoltaic station, the company, which mainly performs engineering tasks, has several projects for Armenia, including the first project for the country to create a power generation station as a result of processing domestic waste. He noted that the company is waiting for concrete proposals from the government in order to understand the tasks and long-term interests of the state to familiarize investors and search for partners. "With these documents and government guarantees, we can begin the search for the necessary financial resources," the expert noted. He informed about the availability of a preliminary program for the creation of a similar station in the Tavush region, which was also presented at the event.  According to initial estimates, it will cost (capex) 30 million EUR, will process up to 54 thousand tons of garbage, issuing 64 megawatts of electricity. Return on investment (ROI) will be provided for 8 years of work with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 13% and an annual profit (EBITDA) of 4.2 million EUR.

To note, the peak of the development of renewable energy in the Czech Republic occurred in the second half of the 2000s, the country built over 300 wind farms and about 28 thousand solar power plants, which together generate 2,300 MW of electricity or 5% of all electricity generated in the country. Recently, the government of the country has limited the growth of the scope on an industrial scale due to the excess of the electricity and its impact on the overall tariff policy. However, at the same time, the state continues to successfully stimulate private projects to develop alternative energy for individual needs. Over the next three years on the roofs of private houses in the Czech Republic should appear more than 40 thousand new solar micro-power plants. Restrictions for the industrial development of the sphere (without accumulation) narrowed the possibilities of already experienced engineers in their own country; they turned their attention to new markets, including Armenia, rich in winds and the sun.

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