Armenian Energy Minister Commenting on Recall of High Voltage Electric Networks Handover to Tashir Capital

Armenian Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Minister Arthur Grigoryan, commenting on the recall of the handover of the High Voltage Electric Networks CJSC to Tashir Capital for discretionary management, said that some the contractual provisions were not beneficial to the state.

On August 24, 2017, the Armenian government handed the High Voltage Electric Networks CJSC over to Tashir Capital for discretionary management. 

All the 649,231 shares of AMD 13,600 each (the total amount is AMD 8.8 billion) were handed over to Tashir Capital. 

"I think that all the parties can place it on record that management of the High Voltage Networks long years had been not satisfactory, and therefore numerous problems had been accumulated," Arthur Grigoryan posted Thursday on his Facebook page. 

"First of all, I would like to note that my statement was against particular provisions of the discretionary management contract, not against Tashir Group."

Explaining this move, he said that 25 years of discretionary management is a very long term, especially given that this is a property of strategic significance.

Strategic significance is due to the fact that the High Voltage Networks with its 16 substations and aerial lines of the total extension of 2,000 kilometers is an entity forming the bases of the energy system, and now, when the power-distributing Electric Networks of Armenia are privatized, the government has no levers to run the electricity system and it is left with no option but to retain at least the High Voltage Networks under its control. 

Responding to the criticism that appeared in the media, Grigoryan said that although Tashir Capital assumed the commitment to attract loans not secured by the government for the company's   

future programs not to make heavier the public debt burden, but this doesn't mean that the repayment ruled out inclusion in prices, since under the law the High Voltage Networks could make investments only when they were approved by the Public Services Regulatory Commission and on the condition of  inclusion of their repayment in electric energy prices.  

The minister said that the new authorities will do whatever is necessary to assure donor organizations that it is possible to provide loans without state guarantees and only with price guarantees. 

In his words, donors pay more attention to the reliable and professional team and price guarantee that the company's financial state and solvency, since the company is already run by the government.  

Thanking Tashir Capital for the job done, the energy minister said that the government will be able to continue the reforms.

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