YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian has confirmed that Russia is willing to have a major role in the construction of a new nuclear plant facility in Armenia that will have a projected capacity nearly three times exceeding that of the existing one.
The head of Russia’s Federal Agency on Atomic Energy (Rosatom) Sergey Kirienko visited Armenia late last week to discuss with Armenian leaders growing bilateral cooperation on nuclear energy.
President Serzh Sarkisian’s press service reported that during their meeting last Saturday the two men specifically discussed the Armenian government’s ambitious plans to build a new nuclear power plant in place of the aging facility at Metzamor which is managed by Rosatom and is due to be decommissioned by 2017.
Movsisian told RFE/RL that the tender for the construction of the plant’s new energy unit will be announced in March next year.
“We will openly announce that we are implementing such a construction project and will invite all those who want to have investment in it and be a stakeholder in our future nuclear energy unit to take part,” said Movsisian.
“[Sergey] Kirienko expressed [Rosatom’s] willingness to take part in the construction of the new energy unit and the main issues discussed dealt with the nuclear unit of the Metsamor station and prospecting for uranium,” added Movsisian.
“This process will start when the feasibility study is completed and the configuration of the new unit becomes known.”
According to Movsisian, the final cost of the project “will be clear when we complete the projecting work.”
The new facility is expected to have a capacity of 1,000-1,200 Megawatts depending on its configuration. The current plant in Metzamor has a capacity of 400 Megawatts.