Monday, November 13 2017 17:29
Alexandr Avanesov

The Tashir Group of Companies, the Investors Club of Armenia and international financial institutions will invest about $ 1 billion in the energy sector of Armenia in the next few years

The Tashir Group of Companies, the Investors Club of Armenia and international financial institutions will invest about $ 1 billion in the energy sector of Armenia in the next few years

ArmInfo. The Tashir Group of Companies, the Investors Club of Armenia and international financial institutions will invest about $ 1 billion in the energy sector of Armenia in the next few years, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan participated in the presentation of the investment program.

According to the press service of the Armenian leader, during the presentation, the president was provided with details of the sources of funding for the program, its directions and expected results. The presentation was attended by representatives of international financial organizations - partners of the group of companies "Tashir". At the end of the event, the ceremony of signing documents between the companies "Tashir", "Electric Networks of Armenia" and financial partners was held.

According to Karen Darbinyan, vice president of Tashir, investments will be made in two directions:  distribution networks and electricity generation. In the field of hydropower, the most important investment will be the construction of the Shnokh HPP. The construction of a 120 MW power station will provide 6% of the total electricity consumption in Armenia. According to Darbinyan, the project will cost about $ 200 million. The program will also involve the American company Robbins and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation. The construction will be completed within four years. As for the second direction - distribution networks, in the next few years about $ 900 million will be invested in upgrading the network infrastructure.

"Despite financial success, the technical equipment of the company is obsolete by 85% and needs modernization," Darbinyan said. On this issue, the company has been negotiating with the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development since 2016. Agreements on attracting $ 160 million have been signed. An agreement with the EDB on attracting another $ 100 million will also be signed. Negotiations with other organizations are also under way. According to Darbinyan, "Tashir" plans to invest also in the spheres of industry, real estate and telecommunications. He noted that the main principle of investing is investing without raising tariffs. In addition, he added, 80% of the equipment to be used should be produced in Armenia. This suggests, according to preliminary data, the creation of 2.5 thousand jobs.

On October 31, in Moscow, the Eurasian Development Bank signed an agreement with Electric Networks of Armenia, providing for a $ 100 million loan to the company for the development and modernization of the country's energy infrastructure. Not only the EDB loan funds, but also the resources of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be involved in the program implementation. About half of the resources in the development of electric grids are invested in the project by its main shareholder - the Tashir Group of Companies.

On July 27, 2017, the Armenian government allowed Tashir Capital to pledge shares of Electric Networks of Armenia to obtain a large loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). According to the draft decision of the executive body, 69.9999594% will be put on bail (172496) of ESA shares. Earlier, at a press conference in Yerevan, responding to a question from ArmInfo, the CEO of the company Karen Harutyunyan reported that the total cost of the investment program of Armenia's electricity networks for the next five years will be $ 200 million, of which $ 80 million will be provided by ADB and the same amount by the EBRD. After the implementation of this phase of the program, the company will begin implementing a 10-year project worth $ 500 million.

In early July this year, The Board of Directors of ADB approved a credit program providing for the issue of a loan to "Electric Networks of Armenia" in the amount of $ 80 million. The funds will be used to improve distribution networks and increase energy security. Investments will help improve the distribution of electricity in the private sector, reduce losses in the energy system from the current 10% to 8% by 2021.  Let us note that on July 3 this year. the company "Electric Networks of Armenia" received an international independent certificate of quality and compliance with the world requirements ISO 9001: 2015. Certified audit was conducted by the world leader in the field of independent expertise, one of the largest international bodies for the certification of management systems by TUV Rheinland.

The group of companies Tashir, headed by a large Russian businessman of Armenian origin Samvel Karapetyan and Inter RAO, signed an agreement on the purchase and sale of electricity assets of the Russian energy holding in the Republic of Armenia - Electric Networks of Armenia and Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant on September 30, The reason for the sale of the company was public outrage over the unjustified, according to consumers, increase in electricity prices by about 16.7% (6.93 drams per 1 kWh).  The regulator's decision to raise the tariff caused a wave of protest, and in order to contain the protest mood, the Armenian authorities agreed to conduct an audit of the validity of the PSRC decision on the growth of tariffs and the activities of the Electric Networks. In addition, the country's authorities have decided to subsidize the increased tariff for the population and small and medium-sized businesses, until the energy company's audit is completed.

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