The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting investment in the generation of renewable energy in Armenia with a US$ 25 million loan to International Energy Corporation (IEC) to finance the rehabilitation of the seven hydropower plants of the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade.
Located along the Hrazdan river and running about 70km from Lake Sevan to the capital Yerevan, the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade is an essential component in Armenia’s electricity network. With a total installed capacity of 565 MW, it provides 10 per cent of the country’s annual electricity production and its water channels supply enough water to irrigate 70 per cent of Armenia’s agricultural land.
The EBRD facility will provide essential support to the overall rehabilitation programme of the cascade which was built between 1936 and 1961 and has had almost no further investment since. The rehabilitation of the hydropower plants HPPs will raise the technical standards in line with best international practices and restore the lost capacity while avoiding further deterioration. This will ensure the continued stability and security of the country’s electricity supply while improving overall generation efficiency and carbon emissions.
IEC, established in 2003, is majority owned by OJSC RusHydro, one of the largest hydropower companies in the world, and the owner of more than 35 GW of generating capacity in Russia.
“We are very happy to be working with IEC on this important project while also building on our long relationship with RusHydro. Both companies bring a wealth of experience in the hydropower sector which we are sure will make the project a success. It will be implemented using the latest technologies which will not only increase the production of clean electricity in Armenia but will also significantly reduce the volume of water currently lost through dilapidated channels”, said Nandita Parshad, Director of Power and Energy for the EBRD.
Konstantin Bessmertny, a member of RusHydro's management board, commented: “We have a long-standing and productive relationship with the EBRD. I am convinced that the Bank’s support will be instrumental in the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade modernisation. This long-term financing perfectly meets IEC’s needs and what is very important is that the project is highly cost effective and so is quite reasonable and bearable in terms of tariff regulation in Armenia.”
The EBRD has been active in Armenia since the country’s independence and to date has invested over €613 million. Investing in green energy generation is one of the EBRD’s key priorities in Armenia. In 2012, the EBRD signed 15 projects worth a total of €94 million in Armenia.