by Nana Martirosyan
In case of further dedicated work of the Parliament's ad- hoc "committee on gas," the gas tariff should be reduced in Armenia already in autumn. Aram Manukyan, Secretary of the Armenian National Congress Faction, a member of the ad-hoc committee, told reporters, Tuesday.
He said the committee is unveiling more and more facts of the groundless rise of the gas tariff, which demonstrates the impartiality of the committee members. "The committee has collected rather big number of facts that may become a reason for reducing the tariff already this autumn," he said. In this light, Manukyan said he will continue fighting against the energy blockade Armenia have faced due to the incompetent policy of the authorities. He spotlighted the latest deal on privatization of the Vorotan Cascade of HPPs. According to him, the deal is unlawful. And even if the authorities manage to register all the documents in the way no to arouse any concerns, the low sales price is a reason for concern. "It is necessary to take into account that selling the Vorotan Casacade of HPPs with water reservoirs, they sell 50% of the country's water reserves, which is beyond logic," he said.
Head of the Public Services Regulatory Commission Robert Nazaryan said the license of the Vorotan Cascade of HPPs will be extended. He said that sales deal is not competed and with the issue of the license that process will be significantly speeded up.
On 29 January 2014 ContourGlobal and the Government of Armenia announced that they have signed an agreement for ContourGlobal to purchase and modernize the Vorotan Hydro Cascade, a series of three hydroelectric power plants totaling 405 MW on the Vorotan River in southern Armenia, for a purchase price of $180 million USD.
To issue the license (and recognize CountourGlobal as the owner) a closure act is required. However, a provision in the sales contact claims that each of the parties has a right to terminate the deal if it is not completed within 75 calendar days. However, the Head of the Government Staff - Minister David Haroutiunyan said the parties have extended the deadline for completing the deal to meet the interests of the investor.
Earlier, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Areg Galstyan told reporters that the Government revises some provisions of the contract on sale of Vorotan Cascade of HPPs, but the deal will not be canceled. He said that there are some technical issues that are being verifies by the parties. However, he could not say if the American party has already provided the funds under the contract.