Armenia, Iran’s gas pipeline construction talks in final stage

Prime-Tass English-language Business Newswire
March 30, 2004

Armenia, Iran’s gas pipeline construction talks in final stage

YEREVAN, Mar 30 (Prime-Tass) — The talks between Armenia and Iran
concerning the construction of a natural gas pipeline between the two
countries are now in the final stages, Armenia’s Energy Minister,
Armen Movsisyan told reporters Tuesday.

The final agreement is to be signed during the official visit of
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh to the Armenian capital of
Yerevan, which is scheduled for the next few days, Movsisyan said.

According to Movsisyan, the agreement envisages starting construction
this year and completing it in approximately 2006.

The issue of the pipeline construction has been discussed since 1992
and the agreement between Armenian and Iranian governments concerning
the route of the pipeline was signed in 1995.

A construction agreement for the pipeline was signed in December 2001
during a visit of Armenian President Robert Kocharyan to Iran.

The first stage of the construction envisages laying a 100-kilometer
strand on Iranian territory and a 41-kilometer section in Armenia,
which will move 1.5 million cubic meters of natural gas to Armenia
every day.

The project is estimated at U.S. USD 120 million with the price of
natural gas at USD 84 per 1,000 cubic meters.

The pipeline may also stretch up to the Armenian-Georgian border,
Movsisyan said. In this case its length will amount to 550
kilometers, throughput capacity to 4.5 billion cubic meters per year,
and the cost of the project will reach USD 306 million, he added.

The pipeline construction project was also of interest to Russia,
Turkmenistan, Ukraine, EU countries and China.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced
its readiness to finance the project. End