Armenia to use budget funds to complete upgrade of Metsamor nuclear plant

16 June 2020

Armenian nuclear power plantThe Armenian government has decided to provide a loan worth AMD 63.2 billion ($131m) from the state budget to extend the operating life of unit 2 at the Armenian nuclear power plant.

Citing economic considerations, the Armenian government said it would use only 60% of a $270 million Russian loan intended to finance the ongoing modernisation of the reactor at Metsamor.

In 2014, the government decided to extend the Armenian nuclear power plant’s service life to 2026 because of delays in building a replacement reactor.  Upgrades started in 2019 led by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and were planned to be completed by 2019. However, the project faced delays and completion was later extended to late 2021. The delays prevented the full disbursement of the Russian funds.

Armenian Minister for Local Government and Infrastructures Suren Papikyan put the amount of the unused credit at $107 million. Papikyan said Moscow offered to extend the lending timeframe by two years on the condition Armenia agreed to use 80% of it for commissioning equipment and services from Russian companies.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s government backed Papikyan’s proposal to reject the condition and finance the remaining upgrades from the Armenian state budget.

The government said it would spend the AMD 63.2 billion over the next two years. The Armenian Finance Ministry will raise that money through government bond sales, it said.

Photo: Armenian nuclear power plant

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