Tashir group of companies, owned by a Russia-based billionaire of Armenian origin Samvel Karapetyan, will invest $90 million in the modernization of Armenia's power distribution company Electric Networks of Armenia, Russian TASS news agency reported.
Tashir acquired the utility from the Russian energy holding Inter RAO UES in September 2015 pledging to introduce international standards within five years and improve the management of the utility.
The new owner also committed to reducing technological losses of the company by at least 2%.
"The investor plans to invest about $90 million in the modernization of the electricity measuring system, repair and reconstruction of Armenia's power distribution networks," TASS reported.
Tashir group consists of about 200 companies, including more than 30 shopping malls and two dozen office buildings and hotels across Russia. According to the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, Samvel Karapetyan is one of the world's richest Armenians.
Founded by Armenian-born tycoon Samvel Karapetyan, the Tashir Group of Companies has become one of the most influential organisations in the Eurasian region since its creation in 1999. Today it comprises more than 200 companies and is one of Russia's leading real estate groups, although it operates in a diversity of other sectors, including manufacturing and energy.
But ever since the group began to expand its activities into the Armenian market around 10 years ago, the momentum behind its investments in the country has been steadily building. "We didn't realise that return on investment would be so quick. This market has a big future," says Narek Karapetyan, Tashir Group's representative in Armenia.
In 2017, the group announced an investment that is set to transform the country's energy sector - $1 billion will go into energy production and distribution, in partnership with Armenia's Investor's Club and international financial organisations. Part of the plan includes constructing a hydroelectric plant. The group sees significant potential in exporting energy from Armenia to neighbouring countries and also within the growing national economy.
In recent years, the Tashir Group has constructed three malls in the Armenian capital, schools and a hospital, but much of the group's focus in Armenia today is on education.
"The difference between Tashir and other companies is that we are growing our own pool of professionals," says Karapetyan.
To foster talent where it's most needed, the group gives out scholarships to the top students of energy and power engineering at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia. It is also behind two innovative teaching centres, and guarantees that students excelling in energy-related subjects will find jobs with Tashir.
Sources: Arka - Tass - Forbes