Armenia's Aging Hydropower Plants Get New Life with ADB Private Sector Loan

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping a private sector company in Armenia rehabilitate its hydropower plants to restore the country’s renewable energy capacity and improve the power plants’ reliability and safety.

ADB signed a $25 million loan today that will help International Energy Corp. (IEC) – which is majority owned by RusHydro, the Russian Federation’s largest hydropower generation company – to repair the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System, which was built between the 1930s and 1960s. The system now requires significant rehabilitation to extend its working life and reduce the risk of major failures. Aside from the rehabilitation of the hydropower plants, IEC will also plug the leaks in the diversion channels.

“The rehabilitation of the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System will enhance Armenia’s energy security by supplying clean and affordable electricity generated with local water resource. It will help transform IEC with modern equipment and practice,” said Michael Barrow, Director in ADB's Private Sector Operations Department.

“We expect that this first long-term funding transaction with Asian Development Bank for rehabilitation of RusHydro hydropower assets in Armenia would kick-off a good start for establishing further effective relations between RusHydro Group and the bank,” said Konstantin Bessmertniy, Member of the Board, RusHydro.

ADB’s participation will also help build confidence for private sector participation in Armenia’s renewable energy development.

The Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System is one of the most important hydropower generation assets in Armenia. The system consists of seven run-of-the-river hydropower stations, canals, and reservoirs between Lake Sevan and the City of Yerevan. It currently supplies about 10% of the country’s electricity, and plays a significant role in supporting the balance of the electric grid and providing affordable energy.

IEC is majority owned by RusHydro, the Russian Federation’s largest hydropower generation company with an installed capacity of 36,2 GW. RusHydro, in turn, is 67.12% owned by the Russian state, with the remaining 32.88% of its shares publicly traded on the Moscow and London stock exchanges.