ArmInfo. The EU-ASIA Business Finance Centre is interested in conducting a technical audit of the Nairit plant. The former director of the chemical corporation Karen Israelyan stated this during a press conference in the agency "Noyan Tapan" on August 8. He noted that the representatives of the holding prepared a "Memorandum of Understanding" for this purpose, a document that will soon be submitted to the government of Armenia. If it is signed by the government, the holding company will be able to attract an audit company to conduct a full technical examination of the enterprise to prepare feasibility study.
According to Israelyan, an agreement on the preparation of the relevant document for restarting the plant was reached within the framework of the previous meeting of the holding's representatives in the Government of Armenia.
At the same time, the ex-director of "Nairit" stressed that negotiations with the Armenian government have been going on for more than a year. "A year ago, the holding, created specifically for the purpose of developing and implementing the program for the restoration of Nairit, had its approximate cost of $ 70- 100 million and the plant could have been restarted in a year and a half. However, after our negotiations, the plant was declared bankrupt, a special manager has been appointed and many things have changed in the course of the year. We know cases of alienation of some equipment, so technical audit is extremely necessary today, "he said.
According to preliminary estimates, one of the participants of the holding - a representative of the Bulgarian company "Himremonstroy" Plaven Rusev, the audit can last up to 6 months. "I very much hope that the results after full technical expertise will be optimistic, and in a year or two we will be able to restore the plant, in particular, its certain production," he stressed. Speaking about the possible auditors, P. Russev did not rule out the participation of his company due to many years of experience in the industry, but noted that the audit should be independent and the auditors will be determined only after the Armenian authorities sign the memorandum.
At the same time, the participants of the holding, despite positive assessments in the context of Nairit's condition, noted that the process to restore the plant is very complex and time-consuming, requiring a lot of work, in particular, in the research part.
K. Israelyan noted that investors do not intend to cover the debts of the enterprise declared bankrupt by the state. "Nairit" is idle since 2010, and the amount of accumulated liabilities is about $ 100 million. "We are ready to create about 1,500-2,000 jobs, provided investors do not commit themselves to cover the debt," he said. That within the negotiations the parties is discussing the issue of introducing a preferential tax regime with the restart of the chemical industry.
The EU-ASIA Business Finance Center was registered in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava in April 2016 as a company providing consulting services in business and management. Today, the holding company includes several companies from Russia, Iran, Slovakia, England, Bulgaria. The plant "Nairit" is idle since March 2010. For almost six years the Armenian government responded to numerous requests of former employees of the chemical company that the plant will be restarted as soon as the investor appears. Earlier it was reported that the holding plans to invest up to $ 20 million in the production of rubber on the acetylene scheme and 100-150 million EUR - on butadiene. The Iranian partner of the holding expressed readiness to provide gas for the plant's operation free of charge as an investment. Representatives of the holding earlier stated their readiness to pay 1 EUR for the right to operate the plant for five years in the event that it will be exempt from taxes for this period, debts to the state will be written off and the rest of the debts will be frozen.
To recall, the chemical giant of Armenia, the Nairit plant, which produces synthetic rubber, completely stopped working in 2014. Until the end of the 1980s, the plant's products accounted for 10-12% of the world synthetic rubber market. In 2006, 90% of shares of Nairit were sold to the British consortium Rhainoville Property Limited. The consortium owns 89.999% of shares of Nairit Plant, RA Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources - 4,496%, ArmRosgazprom CJSC - 3,596, Yerevan Electric TPP - 1.907%. The fixed assets of the plant and the main shareholder of Rhinoville Property Limited were pledged under the loan of Intergasbank and transferred to the bank's ownership as a result of a non-repayment of the loan. A loan of $ 70 million was granted in 2006 on the security of the plant for a period of 5 years - until the end of December 2011, at 12.5% per annum. In 2015, with the assistance of Jacobs Consultancy specialists, the World Bank commissioned the Armenian government to conduct a financial and technical audit of the Nairit plant. According to WB estimates, the restart of Nairit will require at least $ 250 million in capital investments.
To note, the initiator of the establishment of the holding for the resuscitation of the chemical industry of Armenia, the Nairit plant, is the well-known and ambiguously perceived in the country residing in Slovakia, Ashot Grigoryan, who runs the so-called Forum of Armenian Unions of Europe.