ArmInfo. Negotiations on the reduction of gas tariffs continue, Acting Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Garegin Baghramyan stated at a press conference on November 21. According to him, in the near future, the restriction on the reduction of the gas tariff for Armenia may be cancelled.
As Garegin Baghramyan pointed out, at this stage it is early to talk about any results. A working group has been set up on the issue, headed by the Acting Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, and it consists of an adviser to the Acting Prime Minister of Armenia, employees of the Ministry of Energy, Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC). "The working group considers both import tariffs and internal structural issues," Baghramyan said.
At the same time, as Baghramyan stressed, Armenia can't count on an identical with Belarus tariff for Russian gas for the simple reason that Belarus and Russia have a common border. The price of blue fuel for Armenia is formed taking into account the transit fee through Georgia.
As for the losses of Gazprom Armenia, which increased from 2016 from 5.37% to 6.69%, the Acting Minister of Energy noted that it was not only they who determined the current amount of the gas tariff. The prices existing in the gas supply system, as Baghramyan explained, are formed on the basis of the provisions enshrined in the intergovernmental agreements ratified by the Armenian parliament at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.
"Some provisions of these agreements simply limit the functions of PSRC. Thus, according to these agreements, the additional income generated as a result of a reduction in the gas tariff at the border from $ 189 to $ 165 is kept by the supplier. The revenues were planned to be spent on upgrading the gas distribution system," he said, recalling that at that time, prices for final consumers were not reduced. And only in 2016, when the price of Russian gas at the border of Armenia decreased from $ 165 to $ 150, the Agreement stipulated that gas prices for final consumers would decrease adequately - by 9.3 drams. Then in 2017, the Russian Gazprom initiated a tariff reduction of $ 15 (including VAT $ 19), which, according to the Agreement, should be maintained also during 2018.
As Garegin Baghramyan pointed out, today, negotiations are underway to cancel all of these provisions, since it is precisely because of these adjustments that the PSRC functions were limited to the maximum during the last two to three years. At the same time, the Russian "Gazprom" hopes that, following the results of the negotiations with the Georgian side, it will be possible to agree on a reduction in the transit price.
As for the change in the electricity tariff, then, according to Baghramyan, at this stage the Public Services Regulatory Commission is conducting the traditional annual study of this issue.
Touching upon the enterprises under the Ministry of Energy, for example, the Armenian nuclear power plant, the Acting Minister said that the planned work for 2019 was discussed with the director of the NPP. As a result, as Baghramyan explained, it became possible to reduce the time of suspension of the second turbine generator by combining certain repairs at the station. The nuclear power plant in 2018 stood for 6 months, which was due to the change of the first turbine generator. Thus, the revision of the repair schedule will allow in 2019 to produce more electricity by 200 million kW / h.