Armenia, Iran Kick Off Hydro-Electric Plant Construction

President Sarkisian attends the groundbreaking cermony for the hydro-electic plant in Meghri on Thursday

MEGHRI, Armenia (Combined Sources)—Armenia and Iran on Thursday began construction on a joint hydro-electric power plant along their shared border as the Christian and Muslim neighbors sought to boost economic ties, reported Agence France Presse.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian and Iran’s Energy Minister Majid Namjoo symbolically laid the first stone for the plant located on the Arax River near the southern Armenian town of Meghri.

“Hydro-diplomacy, which we use in our policy, plays a huge role today,” Namjoo told journalists at the opening ceremony.

The $323-million, 130-megawatt plant is due to be completed in five years, and will supply energy to Iran for the first 15 years before being handed over to Armenia.

“This plant will play an important role in ensuring Armenia’s energy security,” Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian told a news conference after the ceremony.

Armenia and Iran last month vowed to increase economic cooperation, boost bilateral trade and speed up joint projects including the hydro-electric plant, a third power transmission line between the countries and a railway link.

Armenia and Iran continued discussing joint projects to build a rail link and an oil products pipeline, Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisyan said on Thursday, reported the RIA Novosti Russian news agency.

“I’ll see together with [Iranian Energy Minister Majid] Namjou that the implementation of these two major programs currently at the stage of working discussions begins as soon as possible,” Movsisyan said.

Movsisyan and Namjou are co-chairmen of the Armenian-Iranian inter-governmental commission on economic cooperation.

“The implementation of these two projects will raise the level of economic cooperation between the two countries,” Movsisyan said.

Armenia and Iran initially planned to start the construction of the oil products pipeline in 2011 and finish it in 2014. The pipeline will deliver gasoline and diesel fuel from Iranian refineries and other Persian Gulf countries to the Armenian town of Yeraskh via Iran’s Tabriz

The pipeline will allow Armenia to import petroleum products from the Persian Gulf region at exchange-traded prices that are much lower than European market prices and considerably cut transport expenses compared with transportation by rail.

Armenia will invest $100 million to finance pipeline construction on its territory.

The North-South (Iran-Armenia) railway will allow Armenia to use an alternative route for the transportation of energy products and other commodities and gain access to external markets.

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7 Comments

  1. ashot said:

    i wish there could be ways for diasporans to invest in such projects and feel safe not wondering if the money is going to the projects or serjs back pocket..

  2. Pingback: » Armenia, Iran Kick Off Hydro-Electric Plant Construction – Asbarez Armenian News » Energized Energized

  3. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Genetically Persian & Armenians have same
    Astrocytes
    Cardiomyocytes
    Dendrites…
    The religion came to burn and divide them
    So we must go back and warship Fire…Sun…

  4. Tamar said:

    Iran-Armenia ties have almost always been cordial throughout recent history, built on mutual respect of our differences it should serve as a model of coexistence between nations.

  5. Artin said:

    Thank God for our Iranian brothers! This, the oil pipeline, the railroad AND the new weapons manufacturing agreement with Russia is GREAT news for our beautiful nation and people!

    • john goncuian said:

      Yes, Armenia’s interest is with RUSSIA and IRAN. Armenia needs to encourage more economic investments from friendly nations and to offer solutions for all their investment concerns.

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