ArmInfo. Head of the Hayastan (Armenia) bloc, RA second president, Robert Kocharian, on June 14, during a meeting with voters in Metsamor, Armavir region, spoke about Armenia's energy prospects and assured that everything would be done to extend the life of the Armenian NPP.
According to the former president, Armenia has the potential to become a platform for the production of electricity for the countries of the region. So, in his words, Armenia has surplus production capacities - "we generate more energy than we consume". "The generating capacities, at least until recently, were loaded by about 50%. The 5th power unit of the Hrazdan TPP has also been added to the existing capacities, which is not fully exploited only due to the fact that the third Iran- Armenia power transmission line was not built, although the construction should have been completed long ago, "he said.
The second President of the Republic of Armenia (1998-2008) recalled that Armenia pledged to close the Armenian (Metsamor) nuclear power plant back in 1995. "Then the EBRD began to finance the construction of the 5th power unit of the Hrazdan TPP with the condition of closing the nuclear power plant. I managed to stop the process, and the 5th power unit was mothballed together with the Chinese and we reached the point that the issue of closing the nuclear power plant was excluded from our agenda with the EU," he pointed out.
In addition, according to the second president, serious financial investments were made to raise the safety level of the nuclear power plant, after which, having divided the issues of closing the nuclear power plant and the construction of the 5th block of the Hrazdan TPP, the latter was built with the financing of Russian Gazprom. "We will do our best to extend the life of the Armenian NPP," the prime minister assured. As for the construction of a new nuclear power unit, as Kocharian pointed out, the issue is not in construction, and not even in finding funds for this, but in whether it will be possible to find sales markets, since Armenia already has a surplus of generated electricity today. "It is not a problem to come to an agreement with Russia, with Rosatom. Everything can be organized very quickly," concluded Kocharian.
To recall, now Armenia and Iran are connected by two 220 kilovolt power lines. The new line, 400 kV and in two chains, will triple the capacity for electricity exchange. Initially, the project for the construction of the Iran-Armenia power transmission line was planned to be completed by the end of 2018. However, the question dragged on. The last time the project was postponed was in 2019. It was announced that construction will be completed at the end of 2020. According to the latest information, the construction of a power line from Iran will be completed by the end of 2021. The power line should be built with funds from the Iranian side. Of the total amount of 107.9 million euros, 77% was provided by the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI), 23% - by the main contractor Sunir.
Earlier it became known that due to the overhaul of the gas turbine unit, the operation of the Hrazdan-5 TPP was temporarily suspended. According to the project for the modernization of the station, the export of electricity was envisaged (taking into account the large capacity (467 MW) and the small demand for electricity in Armenia). It was planned to organize export using the Iran-Armenia power transmission line under construction, but the project has not yet been completed. The preliminary cost of the renovation will be about 16 million euros, which are not compensated by the electricity tariffs proposed by the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) of Armenia. According to the project for the modernization of the station, the export of electricity was envisaged (taking into account the large capacity (467 MW) and the small demand for electricity in Armenia). It was planned to organize export using the Iran-Armenia power transmission line under construction, but the project has not yet been completed. In the absence of this line, the Hrazdan-5 station operated at 30% of its capacity, which led to losses and the formation of a loan of about 100 million dollars, as well as the need to attract an additional 16 million euros for repairs. As for the nuclear power plant, in May of this year, in the parliament, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia Hakob Vardanyan said that the Armenian and Russian sides will soon begin discussing the issue of extending the resource of the Armenian NPP until 2031. The Deputy Minister informed that the concept for extending the life of the ANPP is already ready and suggests increasing the resource of the nuclear power plant after its modernization by 10 years. He expressed the hope that the regulator will provide the ANPP with an appropriate license on the condition that the necessary additional work will be carried out at the plant in 2026. "The list of these works has already been prepared," the deputy minister noted. According to the intergovernmental agreement, Russia provided Armenia with a state loan of $ 300 million for the modernization of the second power unit of the ANPP (of which $ 270 million is a loan, $ 30 million is a grant). As of the end of February 2020, the Armenian side has spent about $ 200 million from the amount of the state loan. In April 2019, the Armenian side turned to the Russian Ministry of Finance with a proposal to roll over the loan, as well as postpone the start of loan repayment (from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2021) amid a delay in work on the project. Without agreeing, in June 2020, Armenia withdrew from the balance of the Russian loan. Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Suren Papikyan noted that at this stage the authorities considered it more profitable for the country to find funds from other sources for these purposes. As far as the ANPP modernization program is concerned, Papikyan confirmed that the "Rosatom" state corporation remains the main partner of Armenia (its subsidiary company "Rusatom-Service" is the general contractor of the station modernization program). Let us remind you that on April 7 this year, in Moscow, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider the possibility of building a new nuclear power plant in Armenia