YEREVAN—Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Ara Simonyan told a meeting of Armenia’s National Assembly Tuesday that a landmark deal finalizing the sale of Armenia’s Vorotan Hydro Cascade to a US-based company, ContourGloba, will be signed within the next two to three days.
According to Simonyan, the Vorotan Cascade badly needs investments, and the government has not received any better proposals.
The deal was signed on Jan. 29, 2014, with ContourGlobal under which the US-based company is to purchase and modernize the series of hydropower plants along the Vorotan river, (known as the Vorotan Hydro Cascade), which produce a total of 405 megawatts of power in southern Armenia, for a purchase price of $180 million.
This will be the largest single U.S. private investment in Armenia’s history and the first U.S. investment in Armenia’s energy sector. The Vorotan Hydro Cascade accounts for roughly 15 percent of the installed capacity of Armenia’s electricity production system and provides sufficient energy to power 250,000 homes.
Under the terms of the agreement, ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade, a direct and wholly owned subsidiary of ContourGlobal, will own and operate the three hydroelectric facilities located on the Vorotan river and will supply power to the Armenian grid under a long-term power purchase agreement.
ContourGlobal will also invest $70 million over the next six years in a refurbishment program to modernize the plants and improve their operational performance, safety, reliability, and efficiency. ContourGlobal expects the modernization to create 150 near-term jobs in addition to the 150 long-term technicians employed at the plants.