YEREVAN (AP)–Armenia has signed the first contract for the building of an atomic energy plant to replace its aging Soviet-era plant.
International engineering firm Worley Parsons won the $460 million contract to manage the project.
Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said on Thursday the project’s overall cost is estimated at $4.5 billion.
It is scheduled to be completed by 2017 at the site of the existing Metzamor plant, about 20 miles west of the capital, Yerevan.
Experts have warned for years that the Medzamor plant has safety flaws and should be shut down.
Armenia has long resisted shutting it down because it supplies nearly 40 percent of the country’s power