7 Apr 2021 18:17

Pashinyan proposes building new NPP in Armenia with Russia's assistance

MOSCOW. April 7 (Interfax) - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider the construction of a new nuclear power plant (NPP) in Armenia.

"I hope that today we'll discuss certain matters related to strategic investment, and within this context, I'd like to discuss the possible construction of a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Armenia with you," Pashinyan said at the beginning of negotiations with Putin on Wednesday.

Armenia attaches great significance to economic cooperation, he said.

The existing Armenian NPP was commissioned in 1980. Its two power units have Soviet-type first-generation VVER-440 reactors. Power unit 1 has been stopped since 1989, and the Armenian government endorsed its decommissioning in August 2017. Power unit 2, whose capacity is 407.5 MW, produces on average up to 45% of all electricity in Armenia.

Russia and Armenia signed an intergovernmental agreement in 2014 on the extension of the nuclear plant's service life to 2026, and in February 2015 they signed an agreement on the provision of a government loan of $270 million and a grant of $30 million. The Armenian government later refused part of the Russia loan and decided to finance the work from its own budget.

Works is under way to extend the plant's life until 2026, but the government-approved strategic energy plan says the pant could continue to operate after 2026.