Source Pravda.Ru

Russian gas concern to take part in building Iran-Armenia gas pipeline

President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and a delegation of the Russian Gazprom gas concern headed by deputy chairman of the board Alexander Ryazanov discussed on Monday the building of Iran-Armenia gas pipeline.

The press service of the Armenian president reported that the sides also discussed the current state of gas supply to Armenia and the promising programes in this sphere.

Kocharyan expressed satisfaction over the present level of Armenia's cooperation with Gazprom.

It was pointed out that the ArmRosgazprom company intensifies its activity from year to year, and the gasification rates and the number of clients are growing in the republic.

The Armenian-Russian enterprise ArmRosgazprom is the only supplier of the Russian natural gas to Armenia. The company was created in 1997 by Gazprom and the Armenian energy ministry which have 45% of shares each, and the international group of companies ITERA (10% of shares.) The authorized capital of ArmRosgazprom is $270 million. In 2003 the ArmRosgazprom had 186,000 clients.

After his meeting with the Armenian president Ryazanov told journalists that the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline will cost $140 million.

"It is now necessary," he said, "to choose the sources of financing, and if they are determined no problem will appear in connection with the building of this pipeline."

Ryazanov also pointed out that they can be either state credits or the means of Gazprom.

At the same time the deputy chairman of the board of Gazprom ruled out the possibility of the transit of the Russian gas via the territory of Armenia to third countries since "Armenia is not a transit country but a consumer, and the Iranian gas pipeline will satisfy Armenia's gas requirements for energy and transport needs."

On May 13, 2004 Armenia and Iran signed a treaty on deliveries of Iranian gas to Armenia for 20 years. During this period of time the republicwill receive from Iran 36 billion cubic metres of gas in exchange for the Armenian energy.