Armenian authorities embark on stage-by-stage liberalization of energy market
/Nov 14 /ARKA/

YEREVAN, The Armenian government has embarked on a stage-by-stage liberalization of the country’s energy market, Tigran Avinyan, acting vice-premier, said Wednesday at the investment forum ‘Energy Week 2018’. 
“Transition to the new model of energy market will allow large consumers and suppliers of electric energy as well as traders to come to the market, and it will also create environment for inter-state trade,” Avinya said. 
In his words, Armenia will continue building Armenia-Iran and Armenia-Georgia high-voltage lines. 
Their launch will have a positive impact on the Armenian economy. 
The construction of the 400-kV Armenia-Iran high-voltage line is being carried out by Iran’s Sunir Company and is being financed by the Iranian government.  
Tigran Avinyan also said that Armenia, as a country having no its own fuel and energy resources, attaches great importance to development of renewable energy. 
Garegin Baghramyan, acting energy infrastructures and natural resources minister, on his side, said that the government will create all opportunities for world companies’ investments in renewable energy. 
“We consider attraction of foreign investors as a very important impetus for development of Armenia’s economy,” Baghramyan said. 
Speaking about Armenia-Iran and Armenia-Georgia high-voltage lines, the acting minister said that the lines will be commissioned in 2020 or 2021. 
Baghramyan also said that the country’s energy system is a bridge between the energy systems of the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran, and this will allow implementing various investments projects by both the government and the private sector. 
The three-day investment forum kicked off today with the support of the Armenian government and the ministry of energy infrastructures and natural resources. 
The aim of the forum is to present latest developments in the renewable energy area in Armenia as well as investment opportunities, technologies, engineering solutions and promising projects. 
Foreign countries’ ambassadors, heads of international organizations, foreign investors and experts as well as representatives of state-governing agencies are attending the forum.

Gazprom-Armenia accused of gross tax dodging
/Nov 14 /ARKA/

YEREVAN, The Armenian State Revenue Committee’s inspection has revealed gross tax evasion at Gazprom-Armenia CJSC, the press office of the committee reported on Wednesday. 

In particular, the inspectors have found out that the company submitted false data on value added tax, and as a result, it paid billions of drams less taxes.  
Gazprom-Armenia also has skim money from submitting false data on losses. 
It has become known that losses in the gas-distributing system shrank more than trice in June and July 2018, compared with Jan-May 2018, while the comparative study showed that natural gas supply to NGV filling stations significantly grew in June-Sept 2018, compared with the first five months of the year – by some 37%, which is similar to gas consumption by the companies operating the stations. 
A criminal case is opened against Gazprom-Armenia in suspicion of dodging taxes and other obligatory payments.
An investigation is under way now to assess the damage inflicted to the government budget and to reveal corruption in the natural gas consumption. 
Gazprom-Armenia stands in the row of the biggest taxpayers of Armenia.
It came second in the Jan-Sept 2018 list of the big taxpayers by transferring AMD 30.3 billion to the government budget over the mentioned period against the AMD 32.2 billion it paid at the same period a year before. 
Gazprom-Armenia CJSC (ArmRosgasprom CJSC before), established in December 1997, imports, deposits and distributes Russian natural gas in Armenia. 
The company is a subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom Holding.

Contract on building TPP in Yerevan signed
/Nov 13 /A1+/
The amended framework agreement on building a 250 MW gas-fueled combined cycle electricity station in Yerevan was signed today.

Caretaker minister of energy infrastructures and natural resources Garegin Baghramyan, Renco CEO Giovanni Rubini and Armpower CEO Christian Cucurachi inked the deal.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan attended the signing ceremony.

Italian Renco, Italian state-owned Simest and the German Siemens companies are involved in this 250,000,000-dollar worth investment program, the government’s press service said.

The thermal power station will be built within 26 months and the tariff for the produced electricity will be the lowest – 27,4 drams for 1 kilowatt/hour.

Up to 1200 people will be involved in the construction.

Aksiona company to build wind power plant in Armenia with 200 MW capacity
/Nov 19/ARKA/

YEREVAN, November 19. /ARKA/.  An Armenian company Aksiona will build a wind power plant with the 200 MW capacity. The news was announced by a representative of the company during a November 16 meeting with the acting Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Garegin Baghramyan.
Baghramyan said the ministry is ready to provide assistance to the company in the implementation of the investment program.
Armenia has two operating wind power plants. One is Arats LLC, located near the city of Kajaran in the south of Armenia. The second wind power plant with the capacity of 2.64 MW is located in the north of the country.
The main electricity production facilities in Armenia are the nuclear power plant that accounts for about 30% of the total electricity generated in the country, thermal power plants which account for 41.9%, hydroelectric power plants – 29.2% and renewable energy sources which in 2013 accounted for 11% of the produced electricity.