The European Bank for Reconstruction Development (EBRD) has announced a US$25 million loan that will help fund International Energy Corporation (IEC) rehabilitations of seven hydropower projects in Armenia's Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade.
The seven hydroelectric stations are located along the Hrazdan River and have a total combined capacity of 565 MW, or about 10% of Armenia's annual production. EBRD said the projects' water channels also supply enough water to irrigate about 70% of the country's agricultural land.
The plants were constructed between 1936 and 1961 and have received little investment since, EBRD said. IEC's rehabilitations will raise the facilities to modern technical standards and restore their lost capacity.
"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," said RusHydro management board member Konstantin Bessmertny.
IEC is majority owned by RusHydro.
"We are very happy to be working with IEC on this important project while also building on our long relationship with RusHydro," said Nandita Parsha, EBRD Director of Power and Energy. "[The rehabilitation] 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."
EBRD said the development of green energy is one of its highest priorities for Armenia, having invested more than $825 million in the country's renewables sector to date.
HydroWorld.com reported earlier this week that Armenian officials had signed an agreement with Iran that will allow for the construction of the 130-MW Meghri and 130-MW Karachilare hydropower projects.