Armenia

Privatized Rivers of Armenia

by Sofia

Argitchi SHPP

Argitchi SHPP sponsored by KFW, GAF© Ecolur

There are around 173 small hydropower plants (SHPP) in Armenia, of which around 114 are on natural streams. The license for these SHPPs is given for about 15 years. The electricity producers sell the electricity to “Electric Networks of Armenia” CJSC for around 11-25AMD (2-5 US cents kilowatt/hours). They do not however pay minimal taxes for water usage which used to go to the community budget before. Moreover, the documents that regulate SHPP sector are 50-60 years old and there has been no updated assessment of water resources in Armenia. (more…)

Green Democracy – Mission Impossible when Local Impunity has Global Backing

by Sofia

1372840701,66

Amulsar © Geoteam

Lydian International Limited company is a mineral exploration and development corporation registered in an offshore zone namely in Jersey, Channel Islands. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and it owns a mining and a number of exploration assets in Armenia. Amulsar gold deposit is its key asset. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have bought major stakes in Lydian but there are other shareholders too, among these the U.S., Canadian and European investment funds. IFC is a 7.9 percent shareholder and has invested over 13 million USD in multiple stages since 2007. The EBRD in its turn planned to invest up to 8 million USD to purchase shares of the company as part of its capital increase. As its existing shareholder EBRD has monitored project advancements together with an independent environmental and social consultant. (more…)

World Bank loans pushing for “war” on water

by Sofia

Azat river © Wikimedia

In 2013 World Bank provided around 30 million USD as a loan to Republic of Armenia for improving its irrigation systems. The loan was provided under the condition to repay it within 30 years. The Armenian government in its turn planned to contribute with 7.5 million USD. The project is to be realized within four years in four locations (Meghri, Geghardalich, Baghramyan-Norakert and Kaghtsrashen). Here the mechanical irrigation systems will be replaced with gravity (self-flowing) irrigation systems. The government hopes that this replacement will minimize the loss of water currently caused by worn-out pipes and that it will save money since there will be no more mechanical pumps working on electricity. (more…)