YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The German Fichtner Consulting company–the winner of a tender held within the framework of the European Union’s (EU) program for early closure of Armenia’s Medzamor nuclear power plant–is working to develop alternative energy generation capacities in Armenia. The company has partnered with the Yerevan Engineering and Construction University in the joint project "Hydro Power Engineering Development in Armenia."
Composed of two components–the project will work to restore and re-equip several big hydro power plants and construct a chain of smaller ones with the planned production capacity of 70 megawatt.
According to Fichtner expert Alexander Beck who is heading the project–the goal is to improve Armenia’s power grid–and secure its safe operation and reliability–in order to foster the early closure of the Metsamor nuclear power plant.
Beck places special emphasis on the Vorodan Cascade–a chain of small hydro power plants in the south of Armenia–particularly the Datev hydro power station that has been operating for 30 years already and may collapse at any time. He said all Soviet-designed power systems lack water measuring equipment that defines productivity and efficiency.
Sargis Stepanian–the head of Construction Chair at Yerevan Engineering and Construction University and a consultant to the project–said the EU plans to release 2.7 million Euro for the reconstruction of Vorodan Cascade.
Locations to build around 300 small and medium-sized power plants have been targeted. Feasibility studies are expected to be completed by the end of 2004 end.
Stepanian said that hydro power is a primary alternative energy production source–and if efficiently used–yields good results.