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EBRD to finance modernisation of Gyumri Urban infrastructure

By Loretta Martikian

Samvel Balasanyan, Mayor of Gyumri (left), Vache Gabrielyan, Deputy PM of Armenia (middle) and Francis Malige, Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the EBRD (right)

€14.6 million loan for street rehabilitation and lighting

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing a street rehabilitation programme in Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, with a €14.6 million sovereign loan.

The financing will fund the rehabilitation of the city’s major streets, as well as modernisation of street lighting, and will be disbursed in three tranches.

The loan agreement was signed during the EBRD’s Annual Meeting in London today by the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Vache Gabrielyan, and EBRD Managing Director for eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Francis Malige.

The street rehabilitation programme will include new asphalt pavements, upgraded drainage infrastructure, improved facilities for pedestrians and overall road safety improvements. The street lighting refurbishment will introduce new energy-efficient LED lighting, a control and monitoring system, pole replacement and renovation as well as power cable replacement. This will reduce energy consumption and minimise operating and maintenance costs, resulting in better service quality and improved environmental standards. The new LED lighting is expected to cut the cost of energy consumption significantly and will result in annual electricity cost savings for the municipality.

Gyumri, located some 125 kilometres north-west of Yerevan, is an important economic centre whose commercial significance will be further enhanced by an improved urban infrastructure. The project will help the 146,000 inhabitants of Gyumri and visitors to enjoy better, safer streets.

The project will be co-financed by investment grants to a total amount of €7.3 million provided by the EBRD Special Shareholder Fund (SSF) and other international donors. A pre-investment feasibility study was implemented with the help of technical cooperation funds provided by the government of Austria.

Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD’s office in Armenia, said: “This important project will bring considerable improvements to the safety and quality of life of the citizens of Gyumri. It is also a great example of increasing the quality of infrastructure through private sector involvement.”

Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €1 billion in 149 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of these investments in the private sector.

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