by Tatevik Shahunyan
The problems around Nairit Plant should be published but they should not be politicized, Armenian Minister of Energy and Nature Protection Armen Movsisyan said at today's parliamentary debates. He pointed out that Nairit was one of the industrial giants of Armenia during both Soviet and post-Soviet time. "Nairit has 2,500 employees. Of course, there are some problems. They constantly say that the Government wants to drive the Plant to bankruptcy. If we wanted to do that, we would have done it 3-4 years ago, because we had all the prerequisites for that. We would have paid the salary arrears, which were much lower at that time. But we realize that the real value of the Plant is its employees, not the equipment", said Movsisyan.
He thinks that ARF Dashnaktsutyun's proposal to set up an interim parliamentary commission to study the situation around Nairit is early because the Armenian Government is negotiating with Rosneft on implementation of a large-scale project on rehabilitation of Nairit Plant. "The creation of the interim parliamentary committee will hinder this process", the minister said. On the contrary, Speaker of Armenian Parliament Hovik Abrahamyan supported the idea of creation of the committee. Moreover, he assured that the committee will be set up before autumn 2014.
To note, the idea to set up the interim parliamentary committee to study the situation around Nairit Plant belongs to ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party.
To note, on 25 December 2013, Rosneft, L.L.C. PIRELLI Tyre Russia, and Rosneft Armenia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Yerevan. The Memorandum envisages creation of a styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) production joint venture in Armenia. The fixed assets of Nairit Plant and its principal shareholder Rhinoville Property Limited were transferred to Interbank as a result of non-redemption of a loan. The 70 mln USD loan was provided in 2006 against security of the Plant. The latter received the loan for 5 years, i.e. till late Dec 2011, at 12,5% p.a. The current debt of the Plant is over $130 mln.
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told journalists in Sochi that Rosneft is going to implement a USD 500 mln investment project in Armenia.