ArmInfo. Veolia Jur, the unified operator in the sphere of water supply and sanitation in Armenia, intends to apply to the Public Services Regulatory Commission of the Republic of Armenia (PSRC) in order to revise the tariffs for water. This was stated to the correspondent of ArmInfo by the press secretary of Veolia Jur Murad Sargsyan.
According to the representative of Veolia Jur, by the 15-year lease agreement, the company is obliged to submit an application to the state regulator in August of each year in order to clarify the tariff for the next year. Already on the basis of studies and taking into account the three main factors, namely, changes in the electricity tariff, inflation rates, and the volume of retail supplies in the water sector, the PSRC will decide whether to raise or lower the water tariff. In this case, as Sargsyan noted, the revision of the tariff does not necessarily mean raising them, because taking into account the above arguments, tariffs may be reduced from January 1, 2018. "For today, we are not talking about raising the tariff, it is about mandatory clarification of the tariff for water," he explained.
ArmInfo previously reported that in November 2016 a 15-year lease agreement was signed with a new, unified operator of the water supply and sanitation sector of Armenia. Already a new operator of water supply, unified throughout the country and with a single tariff, started operating on January 1, 2017 and took over the management of five existing operators: Yerevan Dzhur, Armwatercanal, Shirak Wate Canal, Lori Water Canal and Nor Akunk. After the single operator of water came into possession of the "water economy" of Armenia, starting from January 1, 2017 in the republic a single tariff for water was set at 180 drams per one cubic meter, including VAT, thus for residents of the capital, commemorating the rise in price (previously low The tariff was in force in Yerevan, it makes 170,256 AMD per 1 cubic meter of water, and in the regions - up to 200 AMD, in Armavir - 204). Today's information about a possible revision of the tariff caused public outcry. As some media reported, the company intends to raise the tariff to 194.3 AMD. For large subscribers, it is proposed to raise the tariff to about 58.3 from the current 54.
However, according to the law, voicing the intention to raise the tariff, the company must justify it. Under the same lease, it can be revised if the following conditions exist: with a significant increase in the price of electricity, in conditions of significant fluctuations in the exchange rate, with an expansion in the scope of the company's obligations requiring additional investment or following a technical audit conducted by an international independent organization, that Can not be earlier than 2018.
It is also important that when signing the contract with the French company it was announced that the lease will also specify the basic tariffs for 15 years, where the base tariff for the first year will be set at the rate of retail supplies in the sphere of water supply and sewage disposal. Tariffs for water can be reviewed no more than once a year. It was also noted that, for at least 2 years, the company would not request a tariff increase. This item was discussed with ArmInfo Murad Sargsyan refrained from commenting.
To recall, in November 2016, a 15-year lease was signed with a new, unified operator in the sphere of water supply and sanitation in Armenia. The new operator of water supply undertook to provide its subscribers with services (water supply, drainage and wastewater treatment) for a total of about 800 million euro within 15 years. And by 2030, throughout the territory where the company will provide its services, water supply should become round-the-clock. To fulfill the contract, including the point on the modernization of the water supply system, serious investments will be required. Within 15 years, Veolia will invest 37.5 billion AMD of its own funds in capital work. In its turn, the Armenian side agreed within the first 4 years to attract about $ 200 million to the company's important programs, including at the expense of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the German Development Bank KfW and the European Investment Bank.
To note, according to the National Statistical Service of Armenia in 2016, revenues from water supply, waste treatment and processing and receipt of secondary raw materials increased by 7% per annum (against 10.1% growth a year earlier) to 22.1 billion drams. Moreover, the growth in this segment, mainly, caused the collection, processing and receipt of water (annual growth of 3.4%, with a decline for the month by 1.2%). In January-February 2017, revenues from water supply, waste treatment and processing and receipt of secondary raw materials increased by 5.3% per annum (against 10% growth a year earlier) to 3.8 billion drams during the reporting period. Moreover, the upward annual dynamics in this segment, mainly, resulted in the collection, processing and receipt of water (an increase of 3.5%).