Streets of Armenia’s Arpi village get energy-saving lighting solution
/Dec 27/PanArmenian/

The village of Arpi in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province will welcome the New Year with a new street lighting system. Owing to the cooperation of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) and VivaCell-MTS, which is aimed at the development of infrastructures in various settlements within their joint eco-village network program, the situation that formed following the collapse of the USSR is now in the past.

Construction works in Arpi began in late summer 2018. About 2 km long territory along the main streets of the village is now equipped with energy-efficient technologies of illumination. A completely new system with 51 LED floodlights has been set up.

The installation of outdoor energy-efficient lighting systems in communities rich in wildlife species is one of the first steps aimed at establishing eco-village networks in Armenia. Through this, it will be possible to integrate those villages into an important process of transformation based on environmental, economic, cultural and social components.

The residents find it important to use modern, energy-efficient LED systems for reducing the gap between the urban and the rural settlements, for shortening community operation costs and diverting the saved amounts to solving other issues in the community that will certainly affect their quality of life.

VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian, FPWC Director Ruben Khachatryan, head of Areni community Husik Sahakyan and community members participated in the launch of the energy-efficient lighting system.

“Enlightened ideas are surely good, but one needs illuminated streets. Any positive move may help people strive for more. We are by the side of our compatriots to provide all that. We want people in the regions be sure that they are not neglected. We also believe that this program will change people’s attitudes towards the public property. We will achieve much more the very moment each and every one takes the village and the territory lived on as his own,” VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian said.

In contrast to traditional lamps, LED lamps are more efficient and durable, they can be used much longer using 80%less electricity.

The street lights in the village will be on from 21:00 to 02:00 during summer and from 18:00 to 01:00 during winter. On holidays the streets will remain illuminated all night long.

Electric Networks of Armenia to get $20mn loan from Eurasian Development Bank  Electric Networks of Armenia to get $20mn loan from Eurasian Development Bank (PHOTOS)
/Dec 28/

YEREVAN. – The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) will provide a $20mn loan to the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) company, in order to refinance the latter’s current loan obligations and to finance its ongoing activities.

Vsevolod Smakov, Head of Project Block 1 at the EDB, and ENA General Director Karen Harutyunyan on Friday signed the respective loan agreement, in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan.

The document envisions the provision of a renewable credit line.

The bank’s share in the funding of the investment program will be $40 million.

The loan is provided on a competitive basis, but not on a privileged basis.

The ENA investment program totals $726 million, but without VAT.

Failure to reach new gas price agreement will not have negative consequences for Armenia for the time being, expert
/Dec 28/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The failure of Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to reach a new agreement on the price of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia during yesterday’s talks in Russia will not have negative consequences for Armenia for the time being, Hrant Mikaelyan, an expert at the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, said today.
According to Mikaelyan, both parties want to come to an accord, but at the same time they want to get more than to give up.
He said Russia is more likely to seek a price rise  and the media reports claiming that  Russia wants to raise it to $215 per thousand cubic meters from the current $150 have good reasons. Mikaelyan said also that Gazprom-Armenia, Armenia’s  national gas distributor and a subsidiary of Russian Gazprom, is a state-owned company and, in fact, Armenia has to deal directly with Russian government, which resists lowering gas prices.
Regarding Russian investments in Armenia, Mikaelyan noted that the problem with Russian investments is deeper and since 2014 no Russian investments have been in the Armenian economy as Russian companies and the government  have less and less money. 
On December 20 an Armenian daily 168 Zham claimed that Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan received a letter from his Russian counterpart Dmitry Kozak, in which the latter informs that the price of Russian gas for Armenia will increase from the current $150 to $ 215 per thousand cubic meters beginning from January 1, 2019. 
However,  Tigran Avinyan’s press secretary, Vahan Hunanyan, published an official statement on this issue in his Faceboook, stating that “at the moment, there is no decision on the price of gas and  there is no fixed price.”
Under a 2016 agreement, the Russian natural gas is delivered to Armenia by Gazprom at a $150 per one thousand cubic meters, but Gazprom’s Armenian subsidiary – Gazprom Armenia – sells it to Armenian households at almost $300.

Gazprom increases gas price for Armenia
/Dec 31/Vestnik Kavkaza/

Starting from January 1, 2019, the cost of Russian gas at the Georgian-Armenian border will be $ 165 per 1 thousand cubic meters. The relevant information is given in the message of Gazprom.

Today, in Moscow, Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller held a working meeting with the acting deputy prime minister of Armenia in Moscow today. Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Mger Grigoryan.

As a result of the negotiations, the parties signed an additional agreement to the contract between Gazprom Export PAO and Gazprom Armenia CJSC, which determines the price of gas supplies to Armenia in 2019. “The price of Russian gas on the border of Georgia and Armenia from January 1, 2019, will be $ 165 per 1 thousand cubic meters,” the Gazprom’s statement reads.

EDB provides Armenia with loan to upgrade electricity grid
/Dec 31/Emerging Europe/By Tamara Karelidze/

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) has provided a 20 million US dollar loan to the Electrical Networks of Armenia (ENA).

The project aims to implement the uninterrupted supply and distribution of electricity throughout Armenia, contribute to the country’s sustainable economic growth, help and maintain employment and ensure stable electricity supplies to consumers.

“The loan will be directed to the reconstruction of the electrical grid’s network economy, the improvement of the electricity metering system and effects on the qualitative change in the company’s financial conditions,” said Vsevolod Smakov, the head of the EDB’s industry and energy unit.

Karen Harutynyan, the general director of ENA, said that the loan represented the first step of the 10-year investment programme in the company, which is worth of a total of 726 million US dollars and aims to modernise its distribution networks and substations, connect new consumers, replace and install electricity metres and implement global management standards.

“Investors, before extending loans, assess all possible risks, including the possibility of lowering tariff rates. Besides, power grids are guided in their activities by margin rates, which are regulated by law,” said Mr Harutynyan.

The loans have been granted at interest rates of 2.7-3.7 per cent, low for Armenia. The EDB is also working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a programme to modernise Armenia’s electricity grids, as well as negotiating with the EBRD, ADB and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to secure a long-term credit package.