Development Program Will Improve Energy Sector

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"The major objective of a government-designed program on development of measures in Armenia’s energy sector until 2001 is to increase the efficiency of the energy sector," Deputy Economy Minister of Armenia Meruzhan Mikaelian said on August 29.

According to him–there is insufficient utilization of the energy system. The technological losses create problems in covering debts for gas. Under the proposed program–the problem will be solved through an increase in efficiency of the energy sector–rather than through an increase in energy tariffs. The program provides for the collaboration of business plans for all energy facilities and establishment of order of profit distribution.

The implementation of the program is to be carried out by Energy Ministry–Ministry of Economy & Finance–as well as energy commission.

Mikaelian stressed that special attention is paid to privatization of energy facilities. According to him–a considerable part of losses occurs in electricity distributing networks–while their privatization will allow to solve many problems. A total of $1.7 are required for rehabilitation of the entire energy sector. Mikaelian believes that if no investmen’s are made in the rehabilitation of electricity distributing network starting in 1999–Armenia will face huge technical problems in ensuring uninterrupted operation of the system.

He also said that two renowned companies "Raiffeisen Investment" of Austria and "Ben Shahar Associate" of Israel will arrive in Armenia to conclude a deal on providing consultations on privatization of energy facilities.

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