YEREVAN (ARKA)—Armenia can increase electricity exports to neighboring Iran four times, deputy energy and natural resources minister Areg Galstyan said at a public debate on the future of the country’s power grid on September 23.
According to Galstyan, with the recent Iranian nuclear deal reached by world leaders and the removal of Western sanctions on Iran, good opportunities, including increase of exports to Iran, are opening up for Armenia.
Galstyan said current annual exports of electricity—1.8 billion KWh—can be increased to 6.9 billion KWh.
Armenia and Iran are now building a third high-voltage electricity transmission line which is planned to be completed by 2018.
The deputy minister also spoke about the Meghri hydroelectric power station on the Armenian-Iranian border, saying that the project is mutually beneficial. The only obstacle remaining to begin construction is the absence of stable funding for the project. Iran, however, will reportedly fund the project.
The Meghri power plant is supposed to be the most powerful hydroelectric power stations in the South Caucasus. On the Armenian side, the hydroelectric power station will be located in Meghri, and on the Iranian side, in Karachilar.
The construction of the hydroelectric power stations in Meghri and Karachilar will proceed simultaneously, in order to scale back expenses by 10-15%.
Each of the stations will generate 793 million kilowatt-hour of electricity annually. The designed capacity of the Meghri hydroelectric power station is 130 megawatts.
The cost of the construction of Meghri hydroelectric power station is estimated to $323 million, and is to be funded by an Iranian investment company.
The generated energy will be shipped to Iran via a 230 KW transmission line now under construction.
After the facility is built, it will be operated for 15 years by the Iranian Farat-Sepasat company.
Electricity will be supplied to Iran to pay off their investment in the project. After 15 years of operation, the hydropower plant will become the property of Armenia.