YEREVAN(Armenpress)–Yesterday the parliament approved a draft law on Privatization of Energy Distributing Networks (EDN) in the first reading. The amended bill aims to "make the networks more attractive to potential buyers," energy minister Karen Galustian announced on Tuesday while presenting it to parliament. The major change was made in the legal provision which states that a successful bidder could not purchase more than two electricity companies was removed and now all four companies can be sold either in one or two packages.
The government failed to privatize the networks last April when two Western companies–the Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB and Spain’s Union Fenosa–submitted a bid. The government called for new bidding for the networks in late May–setting early November as the tentative deadline for its completion. The sale is a necessary condition for the release of the last $20 million installment of the $50 million Structural Adjustment Credit (SAC-IV) to Armenia approved by the World Bank.