CONSTRUCTION OF HYDRO POWER PLANT ON RIVER OF ARAX TO START IN LATE 2009

ARKA
Oct 19, 2009

YEREVAN, October 19, /ARKA/. Armenian Energy and Natural Resources
Minister Armen Movsisyan said last Friday construction of a hydro
power plant near the town of Meghri, on the River of Arax, separating
Armenia from Iran, will start in late 2009 and early 2010.

He said development of the feasibility study for the project is in
the final phase. Armenia and Iran agreed in 2007 to build a power
plant on the Arax River which is supposed to become one of the most
powerful hydro power plants in the South Caucasus. On the Armenian
side the plant will be near the town of Meghri and on the Iranian
side near the town of Karachilar. Each will have the capacity to
produce 800 million KWh of power annually.

According to the minister, construction of the plant will be funded
by the Iranian side, while the Armenian side will repay by supplying
electrical power to Iran. He said construction of the plant, originally
planned fro mid 2009, was postponed because of the political situation
in Iran following its presidential election.

"Presently the work is resumed and before the end of the year the
Iranian-Armenian intergovernmental commission will convene to sign
final contracts,' the minister said. The projected capacity of the
hydropower plant is 130-140 megawatt which will allow to produce
annually about 850 million kWh electricity.

In 2007 Armenia and Iran agreed to build two hydropower plants on
the border river of Arax each with 140 megawatt capacity. The cost
of the Armenian plant is estimated at $240 million.