RUSSIAN ATOMENERGOPROEKT CHOSEN AS PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR FOR DESIGN OF NEW ARMENIA'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

ARKA
November 1, 2010
YEREVAN

YEREVAN, November 1, /ARKA/. Russian OAO Atomenergoproekt will be
the principal contractor for design of a new nuclear power plant in
Armenia, Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The new plant is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the
Soviet-constructed facility that currently generates some 40 percent
of Armenia's electricity, but the Armenian government has yet to
attract funding for the project that was estimated by a U.S.-funded
feasibility study to cost at as much as $5 billion. To attract foreign
investors Armenian parliament passed a law in 2006 to lift government
monopoly on ownership of nuclear power facilities.

The Russian news agency said Atomenergoproekt possesses large
experience in building nuclear power units outside Russia. It is
particularly, the general contractor of Busher nuclear power plant
in Iran, Kudam-Kulam in India and Belen in Bulgaria.

During Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Armenia in August
the governments of Armenia and Russia signed an agreement on "technical
and financial cooperation" for building a new unit at Armenia's aging
nuclear power plant set to be decommissioned in several years.

An Armenian-Russian closed joint-stock company was set up late last
year with the aim of building the new reactor. It is expected to
secure 40% of the necessary funds and the rest is supposed to come
from private investors. Chief of Russian nuclear agency Rosatom,
Sergey Kirienko, was quoted by Russian and Armenian newspapers as
saying earlier this year that Russia could cover 20% of the cost of
the new plant's construction.




From: A. Papazian