YEREVAN (Panorama)—Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahmyan said that the decision to increase electricity tariffs in Armenia was justified and that there is no need to revise them during a meeting of government today in Yerevan, commenting on a report released by Deloitte & Touche yesterday.
U.S. consulting firm Deloitte & Touche presented a report about the first stage of consulting services on tariff regulation in the energy sector. The firm said it considers the decision of Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to raise power tariffs in the country to be justified.
“We discussed the issue with the Armenian president and decided that the government will do its best so that the tariff increase will not become an obstacle to vital activities of the population. In addition to the soundness of the tariff rise, the management of Electric Networks of Armenia [ENA] company is another issue of concern to society. As events of recent months showed, the introduction of new, modern management systems in ENA is urgent in the existing situation,” Abrahamyan said.
According to Abrahamyan, Inter RAO expressed its desire to sell the ENA, and favorable conditions arose to make considerable improvements to the management system. In this regard, according to Abrahamyan, Armenian authorities asked Samvel Karapetyan, President of Tashir Group, to purchase the ENA from Inter RAO.
Abrahamyan announced during a meeting of government on Thursday that the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia gave consent for the sale of 100% of the ENA’s shares.
“At our request, Tashir Group assumed the liabilities to introduce management in line with international standards in the company within the next 5 years, and [to] reduce technological and trading losses. In addition, Tashir Group President Samvel Karapatyan expressed a readiness to provide his personal funds and, on a parity basis with the government of Armenia, compensate the difference after the tariffs rise for citizens using up to 250 kWh a month and small businesses until August 1, 2016,” Abrahamyan said.
Abrahamyan said that 604,000 of 766,889 consumers use 250 kWh monthly, which makes up 79% of the population.
The new power tariffs took effect in Armenia on August 1, 2015. Prior to that, daytime and nighttime electricity tariffs for consumers were 41.85 drams and 31.85 drams per kWh, respectively. On June 17, the Pubic Services Regulatory Commission granted the Electric Networks of Armenia permission to raise electricity tariffs. The tariffs rose by 6.93 drams, not 17 drams.