Construction of the hydropower plant on the Aras River on the Armenian-Iranian border will begin on July 1, ARKA news agency quotes Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisian telling reporters on Thursday.
Presidents of Armenia and Iran Serzh Sargsyan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on December 23, 2011 instructed the Ministers of both countries to begin implementation of strategic programs for the construction of the pipeline the Iran-Armenia railway, as well as hydropower plant on Aras River in 2012.
During the visit of President Ahmadinejad to Armenia in 2011 a memorandum of cooperation, envisaging that construction will begin from July 1, 2012 was signed.
The minister said that to date there is no reason to suspend or delay the project of construction of power plant and other energy projects with Iran, despite the worsening of the situation around the Islamic Republic.
"Our energy relationships with Iran are aimed at improving the energy security of our country. I do not think anyone will try to criticize us for it. We do not do business, we just solve the issue of security of our country. Our energy projects with Iran are not affected and will not be affected," he added.
Armenia and Iran are planning to build at the Aras River two most powerful hydropower plants in the South Caucasus: from the Armenian side the HPP will be located in Meghri, and from the Iranian side - in Karachilar. Construction of the hydropower plant in Meghri and Karachilare will run in parallel, which will optimize costs by 10-15 percent.
Each of the stations will annually produce 793 million kW / h of electricity. The estimated capacity of Meghri HPP will be 130 MW. Construction of Meghri HPP, which will last five years, is estimated at $323 million, which the Iranian investment company invests.
After completion of the construction the facility for 15 years will be operated by the Iranian Farat-Sepasat company. The electricity will be supplied to Iran, due to which investments of the Iranian side will be covered. After 15 years of operation the HPP will go to Armenia on property rights.
The agreement to build two hydroelectric power stations on the Aras River was signed between Armenia and Iran on March 19, 2007.