Armenia ‘Ready’ to Export Electricity to Turkey, Says Energy Minister

Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenia is ready to begin exporting domestically produced electricity to Turkey and negotiations to secure access to Turkish markets are ongoing, Energy Minister, Armen Movsisian said on Tuesday.

“We are ready to work with the energy system of Turkey. The Turkish energy system is a potential market for us. Therefore, we are interested in the opening of the border,” he noted,” Movsisian told a press conference.

Under an agreement signed between Armenia’s Energy Ministry, the Armenian Electricity Networks CJSC and the Turkish UNIT Company in September, Armenia was to begin selling energy to Turkey in April of 2009. It was to start by supplying 1.5 billion kilowatt per hour of electricity a year, eventually increasing the annual volume of supplies to 3.5 KW/h.

Exports, however, have yet to begin. Movsisian said the delay was not caused by any economic reason. “The negotiations still continue,” he added.

Movsisian also spoke to speculation about a possibly fee hike for Russian natural gas, said to take effect early next year. He said the Armenian government would likely prevent a further surge in the basic utility prices in 2010 despite the increased cost of natural gas imported from Russia.

Under an agreement with Russia’s Gazprom monopoly, Armenia will pay $180 per thousand cubic meters of Russian gas starting from April 2010. The gas price already rose from $110 to $154 per thousand cubic meters last April, leading the ArmRosGazprom (ARG) national gas distribution company to raise its tariff for individual consumers by 14 percent.

The price hike also resulted in a 20 percent increase in the retail price of electricity supplied to households. Natural gas is used for generating roughly one third of Armenia’s electricity output.

“The Russian side has already declared the [new] gas price, and calculations and studies are underway right now to see what influence that will have on the entire energy system, including the electricity tariff,” Movsisian said.

“Of course, we will do everything to keep up the existing tariff,” he said. “That is, not to allow a rise in the electricity price. To what extent we will succeed in that is still too early to say. I think we will find ways of doing that.”

The agreement with Gazprom allowed the Russian giant to charge Armenia $200 per thousand cubic meters in 2010. However, Gazprom announced in October that it will scale back the increase because of a sharp fall in international oil prices.

Movsisian dismissed Russian press speculation that the discount is a reward for the Yerevan government’s decision to select Russian technology and contractors for the construction of a new nuclear plant in Armenia. He said the government did so only because Russian nuclear reactors are “the best in the world.”

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  1. hrair said:

    Dang that was quick, guess when it’s a money making scheme to fill up his buddies pockets full of american dollars things happen in Armenia! Maybe, Baron Movsisian can sell this electricity under the table until the protocols are signed. Way to go Armen! I wonder is this your way of paying back to the “good turks that helped your grandparents survive the genocide?”

    • Vacheh said:

      My dear fellow Armenians. Based on the information from associates who had contacts with the aforementioned ministry, it employs some of the most crooked and professionally deceiving people at senior level.  These people are putting a severe break on the progress of the country. They seem to be protecting the interests of some elite minority, with no care as what will happen to ordinary citizens in short or long run.

  2. Manvel---Los Angeles said:

    I would not sell anything to Turkey until they open the closed border.  We should blockade them from our side as well.  We have survived the last 15 years without selling them electricity and I am sure we will be fine for the next 15 years as well.

      • Dino Ajemian said:

        I am sure he will be better off in Western Armenia and you in central asia. Where there is a will, there is a way. 😉

      • KRIKOR said:

        THIS IS THE PROBLEMS Guys!  many people from far away asking  and demanding this and that while they are fine and living in peace and the life of luxury in USA and elsewhere, but that doesn’tmean the government innocent too 

        • Dino Ajemian said:

          It would have been more appropriate and made more sense if you had replied to Manvel and not to m. I’m sure Manvel can stick up for himself, but he is right that whether open or not the people will not benefit.  m is being sarcastic suggesting that what happens in Armenia is not his problem which is patently not true.

    • Dino Ajemian said:

      The electricity is not ours it belongs to the russians. The electricity production plants may be on Armenian soil but they are not Armenian. The curency earned is not Armenian either. It does not bennefit Armenia or Armenians. Actually it just adds to pollution to Armenia. The energy minister is just a mouth peice for his russian overlord. When the border does open as it will, Armenian farmers will either die or leave for russia or turkey to make money because turkey will destroy Armenian food production. Armenians will be eating stale turkish wheat and toxic turkish produce and meat shipped I might add on the russian owned rail lines in Armenia. turkish farmers will manage Armenian farm land and receive turkish agricultural credits for using leased Armenian farmland. So  not only will Armenia be a russian protectorate but a turkish one as well. Sounds good ha?

      • KRIKOR said:

        it is not ours,  maybe we own some part of it but we will still get the benfit of it no matter what? but dino I don’t understand why you are complaing about it, we dont have the money, recources and the abilties to run a neuclear pwer plant anyway, an old pwer plant shot down after the earthquacke and the russioan openmed it and eased Armenia’s problems, seems like you dont know or remeber how people in Armenia used to live in early 90.s!?  talking about polution!!! the whole  world is poluted and have you ever watched the summit in kopnehagen few days ago?! poluted or not we dont have a choice otherwise the whole country will be out of pwoer since we dont have enough energy to cover the needs, turkish products invading the world including our homes and Armenia delli stores in LA, so why to be surprised if it is happen in Armenia,  talking about the rails lines in Armenia, do u have an idea how much does it cost to maintain those old lines that has been neglected for over 2o years, do we have the money to fix it and how and from what kind of  business will the railroad make money?  you should be happy to find someone willing to spent millions and invest in those lines rather then wiening and crying,  lets be realistic .    

        • Dino Ajemian said:

          Krikor jan,
          Where do I begin, lol.
          1. The Armenian do not benefit. I assume your use of ‘we’ means you and your oligarchs.
          2.I am not complaining. I am arguing that selling energy or opening borders will not help but hinder Armenian economic growth.
          3.I remember how it was in the 90’s I was there. However selling the Armenian energy infrastructure for kopeks on the ruble  to pay a small debt was wrong.
          4. I love your ‘the whole world is polluted’ argument.  So lets keep Armenia polluted. Really? Thats thinking way deep inside the box Krikor.
          5. There is plenty of energy coming into the country for domestic needs. Problem is we need to develop energy security.
          6. You need to step up game on the economics front. Turkish goods produce economic benefit to our enemies which in turn is used against the Armenian people world wide. turkish products may be invading your home Krikor but not mine.
          7. we dont need rail lines. Even if we did why sell them to anybody? And on pennies for the dollar. Armenians dont need outside expertise to run railroads or NPPs. We have all the technicians for everything.
          8. I think your silence on the turkish agricultural issue is telling. I think you, “Krikor”, can not wait for the turks to come to Armenia and make investments.

  3. B. Baronian said:

    I would sell elctricity to Turkey whether the borders are open or shut…Armenia needs money to improve its infrastructure and hence improve its people’s everday lives…ot to mention standard of living… It is a given that we must never forget and/or abadon our cause…but we must also be pragmatic go getters…

    • Dino Ajemian said:

      the electricity does not belong to Armenia it belongs to russia. profits made go directly to moscow. any infrastructure improvements are for increase of russian profits. The opeing of the border will not improve the lot of the vast majority of Armenians. the barbarians must be stopped at all costs.

      • KRIKOR said:

        Russians will make most of the profit yes, that’s normal because they Owen it  and they are running, remember they reopened it and they spent money on it to upgrade it and reopened it, but we still get payed out it, correct your information.  and remeber  nuclear power plant is a political issue to and Russia being part of it is a gain for Armenia,  without mention where do we sent the used nuclear waist??????! yes dino it gos to Russia. would you host nuclear waist in your yard even if they pay you.

        • Dino Ajemian said:

          Nothing to correct. The overwhelming profits leave the Republic. Any money gained by any Armenian or Armenian entity goes to personal use. It does not go into Armenian treasury to improve Armenian conditions. Wake up Krikor and smell the Armenian coffee. Anything russians do is a political issue. Armenia has nothing to gain from them. It’s third world exploitation. The effects are compounded daily. There are alternative political-economic methods to regain food and energy security and independence. 

  4. Lusik said:

    I would not sell anything to Turkey even after the closed border is open. I would start having normal-neighborhood relation only after Turkey acknowledge Armenian genocide and ask for means which Armenians would consider as a compensation.  /// The border is closed because the Soviet union is not there anymore and all the agreements MUST be renewed. So, it is not true that the border is closed for the solidarity with small-brother Azerbaijan. /// The renewal of agreements is that scares Turkey and makes so nervous Azeris. /// The political reality is absorbed-hidden under a pretext of a fight between the Nabucco and Southern Stream gas-oil-pipeline mafias. Old generation remembers grand-marazmatic projects like changing flow of river Enisey. Big projects which would produce nothing but an environmental and political disaster. Of course,  the man goal is a huge influx of money in the pockets of few. None of these “… I assure you that …” cares about people who still believes in sanity of family, human right for memory, human right non-feudal lifestyle, …

  5. most pessimist optimist said:

    hrair summed it up the best,
    hurray for good neighborly acts…i hope all these anpativ vermin live long in misery, all the money they steel on behalf of their people bring them nothing but personal unrest and bountiful calamity

    • Dino Ajemian said:

      Again, the infrastructure of Armenia is owned by russians and no money derived will help in anyway Armenia. You people dream of open borders and selling electricity will help Armenia. The border is opening precisely because others own everything in Armenia. If Armenians owned the infrastructure or produced anything of value the border would never open. Bet your your last kurus on that.

  6. m said:

    Maybe it can help reduce the insanely high electricity prices here in Turkey! Looking forward to it!

  7. Manvel. Los Angeles said:

    Dino. I understand the whole dynamics of what is Armenia’s and what belongs to Russia. The truth of the matter is that as a nation we have not succeeded in making Armenia any stronger and economically vibrant. Unfortunately Armenias govt has not realized it’s main and only resource is it’s diaspora. Instead of Russians taking over our economy, armenians from the diasporah could pool our resources and be in control of the economy. Long story short Armenia is basicly a satelite state of russia. I don’t think it’s a bad thing considering the barbaric huge neighbors we have.

    • Dino Ajemian said:

      Manvel, We are on the same page. A pooling of resources is the only mechanism for saving Armenia. Regaining the infrastructure- transportation and energy, would be a waste of time. We can get around those issues. However, here is the problem that must be tackled:
      Հայը առաչին անգամ ըլլալով իր հողի վրայ ձուլւում է։
      The protocols will accelerate this process. We must understand this not as a possibility but as a certainty. Armed with that knowledge, there is a solution which starts with the pooling of resources. We must protect,strengthen and enhance our Armenian Ethos over as much of Armenian territory as possible within the laws of the Armenian Republic. I call this “national consolidation” . This is not the forum to go into the nuts and bolts of this program but we must come to the understanding that there will be two Armenias, one whose culture is protected and population living decent, healthy lives and Yerevan a cesspool of persians, turks, russians and their armenian speaking lap dogs.