Armenia connects to Iranian power grid

Feb 24, 1997 01:00 AM

Armenia, looking to shore up domestic electricity supplies, will hook up to neighbour Iran's power grid by the end of February, Energy Minister Gagik Martirosyan said recently. In the first stages, the line will allow the landlocked former Soviet republic to receive up to 65 MW of energy per day, he said.
Armenia currently produced 20-21 mm kWh of electricity per day, enough to meet domestic needs."The union of our energy system with Iran's will give us additional insurance. If there is a crisis, Armenia will not suffer," he told. The new supplies would reduce Armenia's dependence on its nuclear power plant or on a gas pipeline through Georgia.
Martirosyan said the Armenian part of the power line had been finished and the Iranian section was nearly complete.
Armenia suffered critical shortages of electricity in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia lost its cheap supplies of natural gas from Turkmenistan. But the shortages eased after Yerevan re-opened the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant and toughened rules on paying domestic and commercial electricity bills, and power cuts have almost ceased. The nuclear power plant was closed after an earthquake in 1988 which killed 25,000 people. Martirosyan said Armenian and Iranian officials had also discussed selling Iranian liquefied gas to Armenia and building a new natural gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia. The two countries have agreed to set up an international consortium to work out details on building the pipeline. The Energy Ministry also said Iran and Armenia had discussed the possibility of building a hydroelectric power station near their border over the Araks river.

Source: not available
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