Mr. Garegin Baghramyan, Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia has received the representatives of the Energy Investment Holding CJSC on October 20, 2018. The company representatives have presented to the Minister the progress of the Shnogh hydro power plant’s (HPP) Feasibility Study along with the Holding’s current investment programs.
The Feasibility Study of the Shnogh HPP is being conducted by the Poyry Swtizeland LLC under the monitoring of a US-based The Robbins Company and under the technical oversight of the specialists of an Austia-based ILF Company which was awared this project by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group based on the results of the international tender.
During the first phase of the works which will be over by October 31, 2018 the route of the power waterway tunnel and the installed capacity of the HPP will be determined.
During the next phases of the project, the physical-mechanical characteristics of the soils will be studied, the envonmental and social impact of the project will be assessed, the environmental risks will be identified, and a detailed roadmap for mitigating these risks will be developed.
Thereafter, the project will undergo an environmental assessment, and public hearings with the communities involved, environmentalists, and NGOs representatives will be held.
When speaking about the importance of the project for the energy security of Armenia, the Minster has specifically stressed that the construction permit for Shnogh HPP will be issued only after a clear program of environmental risks mitigation is in place and only after this program receives the approval of the communities involved.
The Shnogh HPP investment program will be worth 150-180 million of US dollars. Over 1,200 highly-paid jobs will be created during the construction period, the hydro power plant will generate 7% of Armenia’s internal consumption of the electricity.
Along with the Shnogh HPP program, the Constuction of the training center for re-qualifying mid-level specialists of the energy sector and Modernization of small HPPs investment programs were presented to the Minister.
The purpose behind the 6 million US dollar-worth training center is the re-qualification of specilists currently working in the energy sector. This will enable hundreds of specialists to adapt to the new job market conditions and requirements, as well as to staff the energy companies with the qualified specialists.
The small HPPs’ modernization program in light of their compliance to current environmental standards and requirements was also discussed. The purpose of the program lies in the most efficient use of water resources, the improvement of the environmental condition of the rivers, and mitigation of environmental impacts. The preliminary value of the 5-year program comprises around 120 million US dollars.
As a result, 20-25 currently operating small HPPs will be equipped with modern technological equipment and will adhere to modern envorinmnetal standards and criteria. Thus, the efficiency of these HPPs will be increased and the environmental situation will be improved.