US Company Obtains Armenia’s Largest Hydropower Plant
An American company has taken over a key Armenian hydropower complex, gaining an important slice of Armenia’s energy sector, which is otherwise controlled by Russian entities.
New York-based ContourGlobal agreed in 2014 to purchase Vorotan Hydro for $250 million, but the deal took over a year to complete, reportedly due to heavy Russian resistance. The facility currently supplies up to 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity; ContourGlobal intends to increase generating capacity, according to Armenian officials.
The news came roughly a week after Gazprom, via its Armenian subsidiary, purchased the Armenian portion of an Iranian natural gas export pipeline. The acquisition effectively gave Gazprom full control of the natural gas supply and distribution network in Armenia.
Armenia has been known for deference to Moscow, but many observers in Yerevan see the hydropower deal as attempt by the government to diversify its geopolitical and economic options.
Giorgi Lomsadze is a journalist based in Tbilisi, and author of Tamada Tales.
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