May 30 2011
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Iran in Railroad Talks With Armenia
In a meeting with Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisian in Tehran, Reza Pilpayeh added Iranian contractors are capable of building a railroad from Jolfa to Nourdouz border and from the border to the city of Sisian in Armenia.
"Iranian contractors are currently building over 7,500 kms of railroad. The ministry is ready to cooperate (with Armenia) by naming contractors. It is essential to set up a joint railroad commission to study the details of the project and the funds required. Then a memorandum of understanding (MoU) should be inked by the two sides," he noted, IRNA reported.
Pilpayeh estimated that over $2.5 billion will be needed to construct the railroad from Jolfa to Sisian which is to be made available by investors during the implementation of the project.
Movsisian, for his part, said the president of the two countries have discussed linking the railroad networks of Iran and Armenia.
"This railroad project will be implemented as part of the North-South Corridor and is economically feasible. Export Development Bank of Iran has had good collaboration with Armenia in procuring finances for various projects and we hope that the bank will also cooperate with us in this undertaking," he noted.
In this meeting it was decided that expert sessions be held and the final outcome will be signed as an agreement between the two sides.
Upon implementation of this undertaking, Iranian railroad will be connected to Europe via Armenia and Georgia.
Third Power Transmission Line
Executive operations to establish the third power transmission line to Armenia, with an output of 500 megawatts to 800 megawatts at a cost of over $110 million, will begin in two weeks, said Energy Minister Majid Namjou on the sidelines of his meeting with Movsisian.
"It was decided that in the next few days, the Armenian side will hold a meeting with the Iranian contractor and resolve the remaining minor problems in relation to transmission of power to Armenia so that grounds would be prepared for exchanging electricity between the two countries," added Namjou.
He stated that during peak consumption of electricity in the country in summer, Armenia could supply Iran's power demand.
"Building a hydroelectric power plant on Aras River is another issue between the two countries. It is expected that a 180 megawatt power plant be built in Iran and another 180 megawatt power plant be built in Armenia. A consortium has been formed by active Iranian companies to pursue the construction of a power plant in Armenia on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) mode at the cost of $450-500 million.
At present, the issue of procuring the needed finances is being examined," he noted.
He recalled the talks with Movsisian on the export of Iranian gas to Armenia in return for purchasing electricity from the country (three kilowatts of power per cubic meter of gas) and the Armenian side underlined that the two-way contract in this regard is long term.
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