Armenian Prime Minister, Iranian energy minister discuss regional cooperation

By Asbarez | Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian with Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan (Source: Press Office of the Government of Armenia)

Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian with Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan (Source: Press Office of the Government of Armenia)

YEREVAN (Armenpress)—Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan met with Iran’s Energy Minister, and co-chair of the Armenian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission Hamid Chitchian, in order to discuss a wide range of issues related to regional cooperation.

Abrahamyan emphasized the importance of reciprocal high-level visits, which, he said, contribute to the further development and reinforcement of bilateral political, economic and cultural ties. He noted that the two countries are actively working to implement a number of joint projects, including the construction of the third Armenia-Iran power line.

Abrahamyan stressed the importance of the joint sitting of the Armenian, Georgian, Iranian and Russian Energy Ministries in Yerevan and welcomed the signing of a memorandum targeted at the development of regional energy cooperation and implementation of joint programs.

Chitchian said, in turn, that the memorandum will open wide perspectives for the development of cooperation in the field of energy, will ensure economic benefits and contribute to energy security in the region.

The Prime Minister attached importance to high level mutual visits between the two states, which foster the future development and strengthening of Armenian-Iranian political, economic and cultural relations. Abrahamyan stated that after the visit of Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri to Armenia the implementation of joint projects, including the construction of Iran-Armenia 3rd power transmission line have actively continued. Speaking about the development of trade and economic relations, Abrahamyan highlighted the dynamic activities of Armenian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission, development of business ties and holding business forums.

Chitchian conveyed warm greetings of Vice President Jahangiri to Abrahamyan and thanked the Armenian Government for initiating the join session between the Energy Ministries of Armenia, Iran, Russia, and Georgia because it set the framework for more joint economic programs. Chitchian stated that in the last year, significant steps have been taken for the implementation of Armenian-Iranian projects, and expressed conviction that the close partnership established between the governments of the two countries will foster the effective and successful implementation of all the projects.

Afterwards, Abrahamyan and Chitchian touched upon the issues of attracting investments for the joint programs, the construction of Meghri HHP, development of trade and transport infrastructures, as well as a number of issues referring to deepening partnership in agricultural, environmental, tourism and humanitarian sectors.

After the construction of Armenia-Iran third high voltage electricity transmission line Armenia will be able to quadruple gas-electricity exchange volume with Iran in 2019. To ensure the mentioned volume, 234 MW second power block of Hrazdan thermal plant will be constructed by the decision of the Armenian Government. Armenia Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan stated during the 13th session of Armenian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission. “Currently, gas-electricity exchange is conducted at low volumes as electricity transmission capacity is fully utilized and we have no additional capacity. Iran-Armenia gas pipeline has an annual capacity of 2 billion 200 million cubic meters. We utilize only 375 million cubic meters, 20% of the overall capacity. After the construction of the third transmission, in 2019, we will be able to quadruple the volume”, the Minister said.

According to Zakharyan’s assessment, the level of Armenian-Iranian economic relations is incomparably lower than the level of political relations and the economic potentials are not fully utilized. He informed that the construction of Armenia-Iran third high voltage electricity transmission line will be completed in 2018. “The works to supply bordering Meghri and Agarak communities with gas are launched, with a small part of funding remaining for 2016. It is implemented by grants provided by IRI, which is planned to be fully implemented at the first half of 2016”, Zakharyan mentioned.

IRI delegation led by Chitchian was in Yerevan to participate in the 13th session of the Commission.