Armenia Iran May Sign Transit Agreement for Gas Pipeline

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Yerevan and Teheran are planning to sign an agreement to transit Turkmen gas to Armenia through Iran in December 2001–according to a source in the Armenian government press service.

The Armenian government approved the draft agreement at a session on Thursday–and it is expected that President Robert Kocharian will sign the agreement during his visit to Iran in December.

Armenian-Iranian intergovernmental agreemen’s were signed in 1992 and 1995 for the construction of a 140-km Iran-Armenia gas pipeline. The cost of this project is estimated at $120 million. Implementation of the project is being delayed by the high price for gas being set by the Iranian side (from $84 to $90 per 1,000 cubic meters).

Initially it was planned to supply up to 1 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas per annum and to subsequently increase this to 2.5 billion of cubic meters and over.

Ukraine has also expressed interest in this project and it hopes to receive Iranian gas through Armenian and Georgian territory and onward through the Black Sea to the Crimea.

According to the Armenian Energy Ministry–construction of the Iran-Armenia pipeline will begin in the first six months of the coming year.

A source in the ministry said that the agreement to transit Turkmen gas through Iran then Armenia will reduce the high price for gas. Turkmen’stan currently exports gas to Iran along the Korpeje-Kurt- Kui pipeline–which was launched in December 1997.

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