Friday, February 28 2020 12:50
Alexandr Avanesov

Armenian NPP is not satisfied with the work of Rosatom State  Corporation and intends to complete the modernization program of the  second power unit independently

Armenian NPP is not satisfied with the work of Rosatom State  Corporation and intends to complete the modernization program of the  second power unit independently

ArmInfo.Armenian Nuclear Power Plant intends to complete the program of modernization of the second power unit without the participation of Rosatom State  Corporation.

As Advisor to the General Director of the station Gera Sevikyan said  in an exclusive interview with ArmInfo, the relations with the  Russian side are rather complex on the issue of continuing financing.  "And in this regard, we will probably have to look for another source  of financing, since the term for issuing a loan for the  implementation of the program was the end of 2019. Our attempts to  extend the loan have not been successful so far. The issue of funds  and directions of their use is under consideration by the RA  government ", Gera Sevikyan said.

Obviously, when searching for sources of financing, a certain part of  the work can be postponed to a later date, but those activities that  will be related to security and obtaining a license have to be  completed before April 1, 2021, when the permit for the production of  electricity by the station expires.

"Search for financing, concluding an agreement, opening of financing  will take time, however work needs to be continued'', Sevikyan noted.  First of all, it is a matter of annealing the reactor vessel,  upgrading safety systems, and replacing equipment that is also  associated with safety systems. In addition, basic calculation and  technical justifications will be developed and applied on the  possibility of further safe operation of irreplaceable equipment.  "After annealing the dome of the reactor, the calculation will be  made based on the residual life of the reactor and, I hope, the  reactor will be able to work another 15 years," said the adviser to  the general director.

As a result of the program, the installed capacity of the Armenian  NPP will increase by 12% -15%.

To the clarifying question of ArmInfo, Gera Sevikyan emphasized that,  according to the results of the first stage of the program, about $  100 million remained unused. But for these unused $ 100 million the  station had to pay a fine to the Russian side. In addition, there  were claims for allegedly exceeding the limits of 20% of the loan  amount of $ 270 million, which the NPP, according to the agreement,  could use at its discretion. "80% of these funds were left to Russian  enterprises, the remaining 20% - to foreign ones, including Armenia,"  said Gera Sevikyan, adding that based on the current situation, the  Armenian Nuclear Power Plant intends to complete the program on its  own, no longer hoping for a Russian partner.

To note, according to the agreement, all life extension work was  supposed to be completed before the end of 2019, but now it turns out  that there is a need to extend the project implementation time by  another 2 years - until December 31, 2021.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and  Infrastructures of the Republic of Armenia Hakob Vardanyan noted that  Rusatom Service received $ 30 million from the loan amount in the  form of payment for services, which was stipulated by the terms of  the agreement, even despite the incompleteness of the project. The  Armenian side now intends to sign a new agreement with the company,  according to which payments will be made not by years, but by the  results of work.

"The project was delayed, and we paid for the services of the company  every year," the deputy minister noted. He also said that in total,  about $ 200 million (plus minus $ 2 million) was used as part of the  extension program, of which 90% of credit funds ($ 270 million) and  10% of the grant ($ 30 million). The Armenian side is currently  negotiating with Russian partners on the remaining loan amount. At  the same time, payments will not be made on all, but only on the used  loan amount, since the project is not fully completed.

To recall, a loan of $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million were  provided by the Government of the Russian Federation to Armenia for a  period of 15 years with a grace period of payments in the first three  years. This deadline expired on December 31, 2019. At the same time,  the annual interest rate on payments is 3%. The main objectives of  the project to extend the life of the 2nd unit of the Armenian NPP  are to restore the resource and extend the operation of the station  to 10 years (until 2026).

The Armenian NPP consists of two units with Soviet (Russian) VVER  reactors. The first unit was commissioned in 1976, the second in  1980. In March 1989, after the Spitak earthquake, which killed 25  thousand people, the station was stopped. In November 1995, in  connection with the most acute energy crisis, the second power unit  of the station with a capacity of 407.5 MW was activated. In March  2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the life of the  second power unit. The EU has repeatedly called on the Armenian  authorities to close the Armenian nuclear power plant.

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