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Exclusive

Economist: Shares of the Vorotan Hydroelectric Power Plant should be offered to the society

  • Wednesday, June 25, 18:48

The shares of the state CJSC "Vorotan Cascade Hydroelectric Power Plant" should be offered to the society, the known economist Tatul Manaseryan said at today's press-conference when commenting on an interview of the second president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, with erkir am. portal regarding the sale of the Cascade to the American company "Countour Global".

To recall, Kocharyan said in the interview on 23 June that the only positive thing about privatization of the Vorotan Cascade of HPPs is investment of the U.S. capital in Armenia's energy system. He said the most attractive element of energy generation in Armenia is sold on a very obscure scheme in circumvention of the effective law and neglecting the Parliament's views. "Inherently, the deal on sale of the Vorotan HPPs resembles a sale of some old office furniture," the second president said.  According to him, the contract on sale of the Vorotan HPPs is drafted very asymmetrically.  It is not in favor of Armenia, as it leaves Armenia no chances in case of legal proceedings.  "Obviously, such wrong deal will lead to an increase in the electricity rate in Armenia. Actually, the ordinary citizens will again suffer from the mistakes and greed of statesmen. There is an impression that the contract was drafted without participation of the Armenian party. It is not too late to revise or even disclaim that contract. The deal was so unlawful that the persons involved in it will be brought responsible one day.  It is just a matter of time!  Although, it is a very obscure deal also for the buyer,"  Kocharyan said.  

Manaseryan said that the tariff of the electric power generated at the Cascade prevails the sales tariff to the final consumers for several dozens times. In Armenia one can meet such a difference everywhere. This attracts foreign investors. "Investors do not simply come and make investments", - he said and added that Armenia itself can organize the work of the Cascade.  The foreign investment "fever" is dangerous for Armenia. Armenia makes itself dependent on foreign investors and does not think about the need to promote domestic investment, he said and added that there are the respective resources, since the amount of released money in Armenia is virtually equal to the country's GDP. "The shares of the Vorotan [Hydro] Cascade can be introduced in the local stock market and forced to make this money work. Having such resources, however, we  already have accrued an external debt amounting to half of the GDP and we think about how to pay it off," Manaseryan said and added that this is a result of the crackbrained policy conducted by the authorities, which should be terminated.       

For his part, another participant in the press-conference, a member of the parliament Vartan Bostanjan, thinks that there is nothing new in Robert Kocharyan's interview.  He said that it is inadmissible that because of balance the Cascade is sold to the American company. "This is a wrong approach, as anyway interests of the state should be taken into consideration.  But if they are not taken into consideration, there is no need to who a facility was sold to - the Russians or the Americans, he said. He also added that the authorities understand very well what is going on, but are silent, as they scare damaging their business which allows them to live. 

To recall, the Vorotan Hydro Cascade comprises three electric power plants.  The Government of Armenia was the 100-percent shareholder of the Vorotan Hydroelectric Power Plant. On November 27, 2013, the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia had confirmed the deal to sell the Vorotan Hydro Cascade to the American ContourGlobal company, and for $180 million. 

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