by Arthur Yernjakyan
Armenia failed to raise a Russian loan for the Armenian NPP life extension on time.
In line with the Government-adopted program of the NPP life extension, the loan was to be raised before 1 May 2014. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia told ArmInfo the negotiations for the loan are continued so far. The Ministry did not explain why the negotiations are protracted and what is the final amount of the loan. "We will make public the results of the negotiations as soon as they are completed," the ministry said.
The Government-approved program calls to sign an agreement between the Armenian NPP CJSC and Rusatom Service CJSC to extend the life of the Plant's second power unit. The agreement is to be signed within seven days after an Armenian-Russian Intergovernmental Loan Agreement is made. The NPP life extension is necessary as the construction of a new power unit is protracted.
Earlier, Vahram Petrosyan, Head of the Armenian President's Council for Nuclear Energy Security, told reporters that Russia intended to provide a $150-$160 loan for the NPP life extension.
The Armenian NPP, the only NPP in the region, is located near the town of Metsamor (some 30km to the south of Yerevan). The first unit was put into exploitation in 1976, the second in 1980. At the beginning of 1989, the plant was closed down for political ideas, and then the second unit was reactivated because of acute energy crisis at the beginning of 1995. Two power units of Russian model pressurized water reactor-440, with capacity of 815 megawatt in total were installed at the Armenian NPP. Experts say the Plant will be able to operate till 2016. The Armenian NPP was under financial management of the Inter RJSC UES of Russia till Mar 2012. The Armenian authorities mull construction of the new power unit with a capacity of 1,000 MW in the area of the NPP. The project costs $5 bln.