Thursday, August 10 2017 14:23
Naira Badalian

Head of Energy Ministry: Shnogh hydropower plant will provide 5% or more of domestic needs of Armenia

Head of Energy Ministry: Shnogh hydropower plant will provide 5% or more of domestic needs of Armenia

ArmInfo. Shnogh HPP will provide 5 percent or more of the domestic needs of the country and will strengthen Armenia's energy security, Minister of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources of Armenia Ashot Manukyan stated. The framework agreement between Government of Armenia, Debed-Hydro LLC and the non-public contractual investment fund "Investors Club of Armenia" on the program of construction of Shnogh HPP was approved at a meeting of the Armenian Government on August 10.

According to Ashot Manukyan, Armenian  Government provides for the maximum use of domestic energy resources to achieve the strengthening of the country's energy security. In this context, as the minister noted, Armenia does not fully utilize the resources of the Debet and Araks rivers. "This investment program is aimed at partial replenishment of this gap," he said.

Within the framework of the agreement, work is planned on the design, construction, financing of the Shnogh HPP with the installed capacity of 76 MW on the rights of possession, use and disposal of property.  The total cost of the project, according to the head of the Ministry of Energy, is estimated at $ 150-160 million and is subject to adjustment. "The main task is that within the program it is planned to build tunnels with a length of 22 km, which will significantly affect the cost of the investment program," he explained.

It is planned that the Armenian Government will assist the developer to purchase a land plot for the construction of a hydroelectric power station. The developer undertakes to carry out construction work on this object. For at least 20 years from the date of commissioning Shnogh HPP, the Armenian government undertakes to guarantee the purchase of at least 500 million kWh of energy from Electric Networks of Armenia JSC annually.

Ashot Manukyan reminded that the program of construction of the Shnogh hydroelectric power station was developed in the 60s of the last century. In 1998, with the financial assistance of USAID, the Armenian government prepared a feasibility study for the project. In the years 2007-2011. The executive power decided to build a hydroelectric power station without attracting public funds - on the basis of private investment. If approved, Manukyan said, the program will be implemented within the framework of the public-private partnership together with the "Investors' Club of Armenia" and will be the first major project of the Club in Armenia.

Earlier it was informed that the implementation of the construction project of the Shnokh hydro-electric power plant  on the Debed River will allow Armenia to increase the hydropower potential of the republic. On June 14, during the meeting with the US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Richard Mills, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia Ashot Manukyan, whose words are quoted by the press service of the ministry, said. According to the source, the installed capacity of the station should be 76 MW. According to preliminary estimates, the cost of the project is $ 150 million. According to the Minister, the project will give an opportunity to create new jobs in the Lori district. In his turn, the US ambassador noted the interest shown by American companies in the energy sector of Armenia. The diplomat expressed his readiness to present this project to American companies. In an interview with ArmInfo, Hayk Badalyan, head of the energy department of the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia, said that the search for investors is taking place on all the sites and levels on the Shnokh and Lori-Berdskaya HPPs. In this issue, the head of the department continued, in addition to solving technical and environmental issues, it is important to determine the possible impact of these projects on the final tariff for the consumer.

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