Hydroelectric Power Stations to be Privatized

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The main purpose of privatizing small hydroelectric power stations in Armenia is to restore the stations–which are currently in poor condition–or to reactivate the ones that have been shut down–head of the Department of Development and Reforms of the Energy Ministry of Armenia–Alexander Kocharian said.

Such major state-run enterprises like "Armenergo" are not interested in the construction and operation of stations with low energy capacity. This accounts for the present poor condition of the hydroelectric power stations and the fact that since 1995 no small hydroelectric power station has been built in Armenia. "If this continues–all eight active stations will be shut down," Kocharian said.

Since 1992–20 licenses have been issued for the construction and operation of the stations. One of the stations has already been built in Gumri–while the construction of others is under way.

Kocharian said that the creation of a private energy sector will enable the government to eliminate state monopoly on generation–transmission and distribution of energy–make the energy system more flexible and use the energy capacity of the country to its maximum potential.

The ministry plans to privatize 23 small hydroelectric power stations. However–the Dzora and Yerevan hydroelectric power plants have been removed from the initial list of facilities to be privatized because of their strategic importance.

Kocharian said that foreign companies like Hagler Bailly-US and Decon-Germany will assist the ministry in privatizing the power plants.

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