Armenia to seek small hydro development, rehab

The government of Armenia is inviting inquiries from prospective bidders to participate in small hydropower development and hydro rehabilitation under a World Bank-funded renewable energy program.

The bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has approved a credit of US$5 million and its Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a grant of US$3 million to Armenia to carry out the program.

In addition, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is lending up to US$7 million to Cascade Credit for investments in small hydro and possibly other renewables projects under the same program. Cascade Credit’s owner, the Cafesjian Family Foundation, also is providing a US$3 million equity investment. The funds are to capitalize long-term debt financing to developers of small hydro projects and possibly wind and biomass projects.

The GEF grant is to fund work to improve the legislative and regulatory framework for renewable energy. That includes strengthening the capacity of government agencies in policy planning and in design, evaluation, licensing, assessment, and monitoring of renewable energy projects.

It also includes facilitation of investments in renewable energy sub-projects — primarily small hydro and wind — by supporting field surveys and monitoring of renewable resources, developing databases of resources, and providing technical assistance to potential investors.

Program to finance sub-loans to developers

The IDA credit is to finance of investments in renewable energy sub-projects. That includes provision of sub-loans for construction of new wind and small hydropower plants and rehabilitation of existing hydropower plants.

A World Bank environmental management plan for the program said it likely will target small run-of-river hydro projects and plants on irrigation and drinking water pipes and canals. It said sub-loans are expected to be in the range of US$100,000 to US$2 million with an average project size of US$500,000. Sub-borrowers would be required to contribute at least 30 percent of the total project costs as equity financing. It said the program is expected to add about 40 MW of new renewables capacity.

The government expects to conduct procurement under World Bank guidelines. Prospective bidders who wish to be included on a mailing list for invitations to bid are invited to contact the address below.

For information, contact Director Tamara Babayan, Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund, Melik Adamyan 1, Yerevan 375010 Armenia; (374) 10-545147; Fax: (374) 10-545147; E-mail: director@r2e2.am.

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